(KGTV) — Is the worst of gas prices behind us for the years?
Researchers at GasBuddy believe California will soon see relief from climbing gas prices, after hitting more than $4 a gallon across much of the state. Industry officials have blamed the price hike in part on refinery problems and demand across the state.
While areas will climb back down at different rates, GasBuddy believes most areas will see lower prices before Memorial Day and stay that way through the summer months.
"It’s been a rough spring at the pump with prices advancing at a maddening pace and multi-year highs happening in more places than I can count on two hands," Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a release. "We’re cautiously optimistic now that the worst is behind us and relief is on the horizon for nearly every area in the country. Motorists shouldn’t get too impatient — this won’t happen overnight — but as stations begin to fill their tanks with slightly cheaper gasoline, they’ll begin to pass the savings on, just in time for Memorial Day and beyond."
Researchers did caution while prices along the West Coast are likely to drop first, any future problems with refineries could interrupt that relief for consumers.
"Gas prices in California will likely drop back under $4 per gallon by the time gas stations have fully passed along the lower prices in the weeks ahead, and hopefully won’t see such prices again all summer as refineries ramp up production, leading to an increase in supply," the analysis said.
Saturday, the average price of a gallon of gas in San Diego County was $4.07 — same as the state's average. The national average was at $2.86 a gallon.
Silver lining: San Diego's current rate still falls short of the average $4.72 per gallon recorded on Oct. 8, 2012.