GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gas prices jumped to $4.99 per gallon at some West Michigan stations Thursday and they are expected to continue to rise.

“Michiganders should prepare for $5 a gallon in the next couple of weeks,” GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan said.

De Haan said the Great Lakes region is clocking its lowest seasonal supply level ever recorded. The records date back to 1990.

“That’s a big deal at a time when refineries are utilizing about 94% of their capacity,” he told News 8 Thursday. “It simply means that demand is too high for what capacity exists and that inventories have continued to fall and that’s why prices continue to go up.”

He said despite high prices, demand hasn’t slackened off and that’s going to push prices higher, likely early next week.

“Americans want to get out, especially us northerners, right? We’re coming out of winter,” De Haan said. “So high gas prices aren’t going to hold any of us back.”

He said he’s skeptical Michigan could see $6 gas this summer, though he acknowledged things could change.

“This whole year, being an analyst has been more like sitting a quarter mile away from a dart board and hoping that we can land somewhere on it,” he said. “Because these factors are not necessarily traditional factors: the war in Ukraine, trying to get in the head of (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, trying to understand what these refining bottlenecks are. And keep in mind, a lot of this was born out of COVID. We had a massive shift in consumer demand. A lot of refinery capacity went offline because of COVID and now Americans just can’t get outside enough to satisfy ourselves.”

But, he acknowledged, demand could slow down any time.

“Everyone’s talking about the possibility of an economic slowdown, recession, Wall Street’s all over the place. As soon as we hit a recession or if we get there, we could see demand start to fall,” De Haan said. “We saw in 2008, prices collapsed after hitting $4 a gallon because the economy went into a recession, so that could be a wild card. If there’s improvement in the Russia situation, that could be a wild card.”