With massive Hurricane Earl heading towards the Carolinas, motorists should be aware that while any increase in prices shouldn't be shocking, prices may increase.
I'll be keeping a close eye on how close Earl gets to massive refinery operations in East PA, New York, and New Jersey. Currently, Earl is a strong hurricane packing peak winds of 135mph, enough to disrupt power at refineries and other oil factilies responsible for getting products to pumps in those areas.
The further east Earl moves, the better. Currently it appears that the storm will only brush the concerned areas, but of course weather forecasts are subject to change.
Keep a close eye on the storm and prepare to fill your vehicles before the storm hits to avoid possible but unlikely gasoline shortages.
Even after Earl is gone, the hurricane season will continue. Fiona is currently a weaker storm but looks destined to take a similar route as Danielle did last week. Another disturbance off the African Coast may form into another organized storm.
I believe that once the holiday weekend is over, we'll be less likely to see hurricanes push prices higher as we'll be out of our peak demand season.
I continue to believe that the U.S. average could drop to $2.45-$2.65 for the majority of the fall months, which would be lower than levels seen last year.