GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Memorial Day weekend is expected to see record prices for gas, according to petroleum analysts.

“It will be the most expensive Memorial Day we’ve ever seen in West Michigan,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said.

In West Michigan Monday, the average price of gas was about $4.55 per gallon, lower than the state and national averages.

“I think and I’m hoping we escape this week without a price increase,” De Haan said. “I think it really depends on what the price of oil does not only today but as we progress through the week. I’m hopeful though that we will not see a price increase before Memorial Day, but if we do it might be back up to $4.59 or $4.69.”

The previous record for this weekend was set 11 years ago, when the average price of gas was about $3.60 per gallon.

Last year, the price of gas over Memorial Day weekend in Grand Rapids was just under $3 a gallon.

SUMMER TRAVEL KICKOFF

Heading into summer, when many hit the road for trips, De Haan isn’t expecting too much relief at the pump.

He anticipates that prices will start to decrease in August or sooner “if the situation with Russia and Ukraine drastically improves suddenly, that could help lower prices.” De Haan said new economic factors could also push prices down.

The concern with his August prediction, he said, is that’s when hurricane season starts to peak, which can cause disruptions in the oil supply chain.

Anyone looking for prices under $4 a gallon will likely have to wait until after Labor Day weekend and into the fall when the gas formula switches back to winter gasoline, which tends to be cheaper, De Haan said.

SAVING MONEY

The petroleum analyst recommended that if you’re trying to save money, you should shop around, sign up for loyalty programs and slow down.

“Things like driving more fuel efficiently, slowing down a couple (of) miles an hour will really help (and) basically shave 50 cents a gallon or more depending on how much you slow down,” De Haan said.