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Why Washington gas prices are expected to peak in April, May

(AP Photo)

The cheapest day, on average, to fill up on gas across the State of Washington is Monday. And the priciest day for gas is Friday.

Of course, Seattle has to do things its own way — Sunday is the cheapest day for gas in Seattle, while Thursday is the most expensive. That’s just a couple takeaways from a recent study by GasBuddy, a gas price watch dog. What holds true for most places, according to the study, is that filling up earlier in the week is generally cheaper.

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That’s good information to have as gas prices are expected to peak in the coming weeks, adding 10-20 cents more per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan. It brings the potential for $4-per-gallon gas closer than it has been for quite a while in Western Washington.

While gas prices usually begin to rise this time of year, DeHaan says that the coming spike is “bigger than we’ve seen in recent memory.”

“For now, based on where we stand today, prices may continue to increase for one to two more weeks, as long as there is no new issue that arises … prices may eventually come back down starting in maybe two to three weeks, maybe longer,” DeHaan told KIRO Radio.

“I would say that it’s a pretty safe bet that gas prices will start moderating in the month of June, and they may go down for a good portion of the rest of the summer, though it’s going to be at a snail’s pace,” he said. “… I believe the peak price that we face will likely be in the next month, then prices should trail off as long as there are no unforeseen issues.”

The current issues contributing to the price spike are refinery outages in California, as well as refineries going through maintenance in Washington state.

Prices have already increased dramatically in the Puget Sound region. In Seattle, gas was averaging $3.07 one month ago. Today it’s around $3.40. DeHaan says to expected another 10-20 cents to be added on top of that as prices rise.

“Some stations that are charging $3.79 today certainly could get much closer to ($4 per gallon prices), at least across Seattle metro … you may start to see a couple stations,” he said. “But most of the $4 per gallon gasoline is thankfully going to stay south in California.”

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