TOLEDO, Ohio — We all know Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, and it's typically a turning point for gas prices to drop, but what you pay at the pump can still be impacted by unforeseen circumstances, like hurricanes.
Here's how Hurricane Dorian — or any other factors — may influence the cost per gallon going into your gas tank.
"We still have the ability to see spikes in the market, primarily as a result of unplanned refinery maintenance and that has the ability to influence gas prices," Midwest Executive Director for the Consumer Energy Alliance, Chris Ventura, said.
Typically, that kind of work only happens in the spring, but there's talk of replacing a main line under Lake Erie.
Michigan had a proposed 45 cent gas tax increase that was shot down last week by the state legislature, and the state is still looking to make changes.
"It is a large supplier of crude oil, and not just to refineries in Michigan, but especially in Toledo, and those refiners turn that oil into all kinds of fuels," Ventura said.
As far as gas prices go, we should be on the downswing now that stations are moving to the winter blend.
GasBuddy predicts a national average of $2.55 per gallon, down nearly 30 cents from last year and the lowest priced Labor Day since 2016's $2.20 per gallon average.
Because Hurricane Dorian is missing the Gulf of Mexico, it should not impact the cost of a gallon for us here.
"When it comes to gasoline prices, it's really a best case scenario. One, not just because it has not hit the US mainland, but, two, also because it's not a Gulf Coast hurricane," Ventura said.
Crude oil production in the US has dramatically increased in recent years, so relying on less stable countries like Venezuela or some of those in the Middle East is no longer a major factor, which means better stability and ultimately lower prices for you at the pump.
It is still early in hurricane season, and there's a chance of another weather system striking the Gulf Coast, like Hurricane Harvey did in 2017, with the potential to take offline refineries, offshore platforms and the pipelines that get the oil to us.
Consumer Energy Alliance officials said that while a price hike is unlikely, whatever happens, it will be across the board from regular gasoline to propane to diesel and so on, meaning it could also impact things like the cost of air travel.
To save yourself money, make sure the pressure in your tires is where it should be; not higher or lower. It can fluctuate with the changing temperatures, so be sure to check regularly.