Summer is still weeks away, but drivers may feel as if it's already here when they fill up at the pump.
Gas prices have risen 8 cents a gallon in the past week in much of California. With a trend of prices on the rise, the Web site modestogasprices.com listed an average of $3.82 for regular gas Monday.
That suggests that the previously unthinkable price of $4 a gallon is almost certain this summer, when prices typically rise because of increased driving.
That mark has been surpassed by other fuels. Diesel is about $4.32 a gallon, and midgrade and premium gasoline prices average at or slightly above $4 a gallon, according to the same site. Experts cite a number of possible causes for the spike, including a record price for a barrel of oil and refineries changing to a more expensive blend of summer gas. On April 8, the federal Energy Information Administration predicted that prices on the West Coast for a gallon of regular gas would average $3.90 in May and $3.88 in June.
California prices are typically higher because of a special gas blend used in the state and the difficulty of shipping gas in from other parts of the country.