Just in time for one of the biggest travel holidays of the year . . . a large jump at the pump across Western Pennsylvania.

Two days before Thanksgiving, feast your eyes on this: the average price of a gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline is $2.873. That’s an increase of 10.3 cents from $2.770 last week, AAA East Central reported Monday afternoon.

The current price is 6.7 cents higher than it was the last week of November 2018, at $2.806. This is the first time in months the regional average is above that of the corresponding week of the previous year.

This bump upward hits as an estimated 49 million Americans are expected to hit the highways for Thanksgiving.

After slight decreases the previous three weeks, Washington absorbed a 9.9-cent jump from $2.688 to $2.787. That seemingly meteoric rise, however, is a barometer for what happened throughout Western Pennsylvania. Washington’s average is the second-lowest among 22 Western Pennsylvania cities and towns monitored by AAA. The city ranked seventh last week.

New Castle ($2.725) has the lowest average; Sharon ($2.794) is third. Uniontown ($2.890) ranks 15th.

Warren ($2.962) has the most expensive fuel, 1.5 cents higher than Meadville ($2.947).

Pennsylvania (four cents) and Virginia (one cent) are the only states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region to experience increases this week. Most states there realized slight dips. Only three states in the region have a higher average than a year ago: Delaware (by 12 cents), Maryland (five cents) and Pennsylvania (three cents). The prices in six states are cheaper by a dime or more, led by Connecticut (19 cents) and Rhode Island (17 cents).

A draw of 1.78 million barrels left regional gasoline stocks at 58.3 million, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The national average remained at $2.59.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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