Charleston, WV (WOWK) – The last thing we want or need is higher fuel prices this winter season but the trend is heading this way. As long as the forecast is for colder than normal temperatures, this could be a reality.
Currently, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline across the U.S. is $3.18 and that’s up $1 from a year ago. The price of diesel is up nearly the same amount with a current price of $3.38.
According to a report from MarketWatch, “crude oil futures have stalled since June, but could resume again and even hit $100”. Bank of America analysts say that OPEC+ has helped stabilize oil prices of late. Back in June oil was at $75 per barrel and then fell into the low 60s with the help of OPEC+. Now, oil prices are going back up and are around $70 a barrel.
Here’s the trick, many people have seen a forecast from the Farmer’s Almanac and that indicates a cold winter ahead. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has a different take with warmer than normal temperatures for the south.
It’s looking increasingly likely the U.S. will see La Niña conditions this winter, something that could spell bad news for an already parched Southern California as it will be dry and hot.
Back in August, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there’s a 70% chance that La Niña returns for a second straight winter, this time between the period of November 2021 and January 2022. As such, a La Niña Watch has been issued by the agency.
So what does that mean for winter weather?
“It really depends where you are in the United States. It will vary by location,” explained NOAA climate scientist Michelle L’Heureux. “The southern tier during a La Niña is often drier than average during the winter, and that often extends into spring.”
Hurricane Ida’s effects on U.S. production is also creating a newer spike in oil prices and that has Goldman Sachs analysts saying that they expect an $80 price target for the fourth quarter. They also say that there are upside risks in the first half of 2022.
All in all, don’t expect your gas prices to go down too much. And you had better hope for a warmer winter…your bank account would appreciate it.