TODAY | August 31, 2012
>> gas prices have soared into the labor day weekend . tom costello in bethesda, maryland, with bad news for drivers. good morning to you.
>> reporter: nationally we're paying $3.83 a gallon. that is up $0.10 in a week. here in the d.c. area we're averaging about $4 a gallon but across the country drivers are paying more for gasoline than they ever have going into a labor day weekend . this is not the news any of us wanted to hear going into the labor day weekend . gas prices have been on the climb this week. in some cities, 10 to 15% increases in a day. that's the biggest jump in 18 months. on this color coded map green shows the lowest prices in the country, red the highest. illinois and california are bright red , both $4.15 a gallon. in los angeles thursday $4.16.
>> i remember being a small child and standing in line for $0.50 a gallon gas and going oh, my god, this is expensive.
>> reporter: in chicago $4.41, highest in the country but we found $4.49.
>> the first time i filled my small car and spent over $50.
>> sometimes you have to give up what you enjoy most and put it in your tank, i guess.
>> reporter: hurricanic gets blame for driving up prices. oil rigs, refineries, even a critical pipeline shut down. cnbc's scott cohn is there.
>> reporter: good news no problems with the refineries off the gulf coast . the issue is getting them up and running. the longer that takes, the higher prices can go.
>> reporter: also a ruptured pipeline in wisconsin, a refinery fire in california, an expensive summer.
>> we've never seen the national average this high for labor day weekend . the gouge is on.
>> reporter: trim a calculates if you're driving from denver to chicago in a 2008 toyota van you'll pay $238 in fuel. same vehicle from san diego to seattle, $3.17 in fuel. driving from atlanta to tucson, $400 in fuel. the good news, gas prices aren't expected to stay this high.
>> between thanksgiving and christmas, average may drop to mid $3 range and certainly some areas could drop even lower than that.
>> reporter: that's good news. listen, we often see a spike in pump prices this time of the year because we're seeing refineries reduce their inventories from the summer blend and get ready for the winter blend. you throw in a hurricane and you can really cause a jump in prices and that's exactly what we've seen. savannah.
>> we have, indeed. tom costello in bethesda, maryland, thank you.