If you feel like gasoline prices across western Colorado are rising on almost a daily basis, you're not alone. After seeing prices dip below $3.00 a gallon in January, it's surprised a lot of people to see prices headed back up as quickly as they have. According to Gas Buddy, one month ago the average price in Colorado for unleaded gasoline was $2.79 a gallon. As of today, (Feb 19), the average price in the state is at $3.53 a gallon, a 74-cent a gallon increase.

In March and April of 2012, gas prices across Colorado averaged around $4.00 a gallon before dipping slightly for the summer and then increasing again in the fall. Experts say part of the reason for the seasonal increases is due to refineries changing their blends for summer and winter. This year the price increase has not only started earlier than expected, but has risen faster than expected.

Some analysts say prices could go as high as $4.00 a gallon in some areas before leveling off, so don't be surprised if the price is higher next time you head to the pump. Gas Buddy ranks Colorado 6th in the nation for the lowest gas prices, with the current median average in Grand Junction and surrounding areas at $3.54 a gallon. Parts of California, which has some of the highest prices in the nation, have already surpassed the $4.00 a gallon mark.

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