Gas prices skyrocketed over the past few weeks and the reason why is somewhat infuriating.

There's a gas station right by my work that usually sold gas at a reasonable price.  For the longest time, it was selling a gallon of regular fuel for $3.26 a gallon. It became my go-to place to fuel up, until recently.

One morning, the sign still advertised gas was being sold at $3.26 a gallon, but at the end of the workday, that same sign suddenly said it was now $3.66 a gallon.

Over the next few days, the prices continued to creep upward and, as of this morning, it now costs $3.78 for a gallon of regular fuel.

What gives? Why did gas prices jump by .52 cents in such a short span of time?

Summer Blend Fuel Is Here

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

The sudden change at the gas pump was caused by refineries switching to summer blend fuel, which is more expensive than their winter blend. The Northeast is typically last in the nation to change over to this blend due to our weather.

That is why we saw prices stagnate for so long.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, warned New York drivers in April that the party was going to end soon, saying, "Be prepared for somewhat of a punch [at the pump]."

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Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Unfortunately, that "punch" was more like a knockout hit because of how rapidly gas prices went up over the span of a few hours.

Summer blend gas takes longer to produce, which drives up prices. Additionally, demand for gas typically rises in the warmer months, which also influences the price you see at the pump.

This year we also have renewed tensions in the Middle East, which is also rocking the oil market, per a report from the New York Times. Pair this with the ongoing war in Ukraine and inflation, it is possible we could see gas prices hit close to $5 a gallon.

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

You may be wondering when we will see prices come down - and the problem is no one seems to know the answer.

Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said:

From a demand perspective, we have entered the pre-Memorial Day funk. And the cost of a barrel of oil is nearly $10 less than two weeks ago, as oil prices have fallen into the upper $70s. This may keep pump prices somewhat flat for the immediate future.

Currently, the average cost of a gallon of gas is $3.73 a gallon in the State of New York. Here in the Utica/Rome metro area, that price is $3.74.

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