It’s getting to be that time of year again when pain at the pump starts to pick back up.

AAA Michigan reports that gas prices are around $2.43 per gallon on average across the state – which is up about six cents from last week and about 20-cents from more than a month ago. AAA Michigan spokeswoman Nancy Cain tells WHMI gas prices are up a little bit on average and a little bit less than they were last year but unfortunately she thinks motorists will start seeing prices go up. Cain says that’s because the crude oil price has gone up significantly and what people pay at the pump follows the crude oil price. Cain says you wouldn’t know it from looking at the weather but some refineries are getting ready for the spring when they make the changeover from the winter to the summer blend of gasoline and there is usually a bump up in price. Changeover times vary but Cain says generally some of the refineries start now and are getting ready for it. She notes it doesn’t just happen overnight and takes a little bit of time to get the refineries ready and then make the changeover but most do it by the end of April - just as the warmer weather is coming.

Cain says motorists drive the least during the winter but when you get closer to spring and the weather is better, there’s more light and people are out. This causes more demand for gasoline so prices will tend to go up. She says that’s also the trend toward also Memorial Day when prices tend rise. (JM)