Drivers tired of spending more at the pumps likely won't see any relief this Memorial Day holiday weekend, as gas prices across Lubbock and the U.S. will continue to stay high, according to several organizations.
The Lubbock area has some of the cheapest average gas prices in Texas, about $4 - the same as Amarillo - for regular unleaded fuel and $5.09 for diesel ($5.12 in Amarillo) as of Tuesday. The Dallas-Fort Worth area averaged $4.36 and $5.13 in comparison, according to AAA Texas. Texas' average was $4.26 and the national was $4.59.
Even though local gas prices are low compared to other places, it is a big jump from the 2021 Memorial Day weekend. On May 25, 2021, regular gas was $2.68 and diesel was $2.93, according to aaa.com.
Why is gas so expensive right now?
There are various factors behind the rising gas prices, including the embargo on Russian oil due to the invasion of Ukraine. With this embargo, oil worldwide is more than $100.
U.S. crude oil costs $110.32 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, costs $115.13 as of Wednesday, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told USA TODAY this summer could be the "priciest summer that we've ever seen," according to a USA Today article.
AAA offered these tips to help cut fuel costs:
Slow down and drive the speed limit. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.
Minimize your use of air conditioning.
Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level. Discount Tire, for example, offers free air checks at their shops.
When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.
When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake.
What are the best and worst times to travel on Memorial Day weekend?
AAA Texas predicts 3.2 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more from their homes this weekend, which is an 8% increase from 2021. Air travel will also go up 25% from last year. Nationally, travel volumes could be close to how they were in 2017.
The busiest times and days for driving, according to AAA Texas, are:
Thursday: 1-8 p.m. Best times will be before 6 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
Friday: noon-7 p.m. Best times will be before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
Saturday: 1-6 p.m. Best time is before 10 a.m.
Sunday: 1-4 p.m. Best time is before 10 a.m.
Monday: 1-4 p.m. Best time is before 11 a.m.
De Haan also warned that gas stations could be busier during holiday travel, so getting fuel early would be a good idea.
Memorial Day weekend forecast for Lubbock will be hot
After a stormy Tuesday and cool Wednesday, the Lubbock area will see hotter temps and mostly sunny skies just in time for weekend travelers, according to the National Weather Service. The forecast shows:
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 94. South wind 10 to 15 mph.
Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 68. South wind 15 to 20 mph.
Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. West southwest wind 15 to 20 mph.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 70. South wind 15 to 20 mph.
Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 20 to 25 mph.
Sunday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69.
Memorial Day: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Breezy.
Monday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 67.
Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 94.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Gas prices in Lubbock for Memorial Day could be more; here's why