Cincinnati gas prices jumping to $3.59

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Bad news for drivers in the Cincinnati-area, and across the nation this week.

Gas prices are jumping for the third time in three weeks, due to refinery shortages and other issues.

Locally, Speedway on Tuesday morning sent an alert to all its Cincinnati-area stations, telling them to raise prices to $3.59 a gallon for regular. 

Other gasoline brands are starting to follow, as Speedway, the largest gas seller in Ohio, sets the trend.

This is up from the $3.45 many of them hit last Friday, and is the highest price Tri-State drivers have seen since last fall.

A few stations in the Loveland and Hamilton/Middletown area remained below $3 as of noon Tuesday. If you see gas below $3, you may want to fill up.

Reasons for Price Hike

Normally, prices are at their lowest in December and January, when the fewest miles are driven. 

But GasBuddy.com reports that many refineries are now down for winter maintenance, causing a temporary gasoline shortage in places.

In addition, refineries are now making the last of their cheaper "winter blend" fuel, and are beginning the changeover to more expensive "summer gas," which hits stations on April 1.

Whatever the reason, this is an unusual jump for January, and does not portend well for prices in April and May of this year.

For the latest prices, go to WCPO.com's gas price page at wcpo.com/gasprices.

As always, don't waste your money.

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