CHARLOTTE – Get your gas now; AAA Carolinas says the prices are going back up.

Since last week, national gas price averages dropped from $3.67 per gallon to $3.62, and they’re down to $3.54 in the Triangle, three cents lower than a week ago.  Although prices at the pump have decreased over the past few days, Public Relations Manager at AAA Carolinas, Angela Daley, says there was a huge increase a few weeks ago and it’s likely to happen again.

“We saw a huge increase a few weeks ago, or over the past few weeks, and we’ve just started to see a decrease over the past couple days.  The increase was due to unrest in Egypt, which caused crude oil prices to spike well over a hundred dollars a barrel,” says Daley.

Daley says the rapid increase in crude oil prices per barrel was causing prices to spike two to three cents a night, and now what we’re seeing is a little bit of a pullback.

Despite the recent drop, Daley says prices tend to increase in the second half of the summer, during the peak summer driving season when demand is at its highest point of the year.

“I do expect gas prices to turn around and start heading back upwards towards the second half of the summer, but it’s really hard to say.  If crude oil prices stabilize, or if they go back down, depending on what happens in the Middle East as well—all those factors will impact prices at the pump,” says Daley.

She says another factor that can play a huge role in affecting gas prices as we head into August and September is hurricane season.

“We know that even the threat of a hurricane in the Gulf can impact gas prices tremendously.  That’s because we get ninety percent of our oil from the gulf,” Daley says.

Although hurricane season is most prominent in August and September, Daley advises us to keep an eye on what’s happening in the Middle East as well, because those conflicts are independent of seasonal trends that affect gas prices.