Drivers in the Atlanta metro area were paying an average of $3.79 a gallon for gasoline early Monday and upwards of $4 a gallon in some areas. The average price of a gallon of gasoline has increased by almost a dime since a week ago and is 67 cents higher than the price in mid-December.

The American Automotive Association (AAA) reports that the national average price of gas for the month, $3.63 a gallon, is the highest ever for the month of February and will likely be higher before March gets here. The national average price right now sits at $3.78.

Georgians can take some solace, though. The gas price average has surpassed $4 a gallon in four states, “and a couple others are only a few cents shy of reaching the $4 mark,” said Jessica Brady, a spokeswoman for AAA.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be much relief at the pump in the next couple of weeks,” Brady told the AJC. “US refinery maintenance typically peaks in March, meaning we could see more cuts in refinery output, leading to higher gas prices.”

A website that tracks local prices,, reported early Monday that metro prices ranged from $3.60 at a Marathon station at Trickum and Shallowford roads in Cobb County to $4.19 at a Chevron on Cobb Parkway.

Statewide, the cheapest gas was $3.53 at a couple of Augusta-area stations and $3.56 in the Macon area.

Fortunately, the price of Brent Crude Oil, a future that is commonly found to predict the coming direction of gas prices has been lower the past week. It reached a low of $113.73 a barrel last week. It was, however, up again on Monday, reaching $116 a barrel.

WTI crude oil, another typical indicator of price, was also down last week to $93.36 a barrel.

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