Even though it's winter and people aren't driving as much as summer gas prices are still climbing. Officials at GasBuddy say even though Yakima gas prices are unchanged in the past week, averaging $3.85 per gallon, local drivers are paying 11.7 cents more per gallon than a month ago and $1.24 more per gallon than a year ago.

A short drive to the lower valley and you'll save money

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in the valley can be found at the Wolfden in Wapato for $3.41 per gallon today. The lowest price in the state today is $3.26 per gallon while the highest is $4.59 per gallon, a difference of $1.33 per gallon.

Rising crude oil prices are pushing up gas prices in the west

The national average price of gasoline has risen 0.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.31 per gallon today.
The national average is down 0.7 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 92.8 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.
"Average gas prices saw a slight boost over the last week as the rising price of crude oil continues to push prices up. While the rise was fairly tame, some states still saw slight declines. Gasoline demand, aside from motorists filling up ahead of the weekend winter storm, has been lackluster. The real pain at the pump will start in about 4-6 weeks," says Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "Oil prices continue to edge higher as oil production remains a concern due to unrest in Libya and Kazakhstan, however, some improvement in the latter situation could lead to oil prices being more subdued."

Wow what a difference just a couple of years can make

Historical gasoline prices in Yakima and the national average going back ten years:
January 17, 2021: $2.61/g (U.S. Average: $2.38/g)
January 17, 2020: $3.03/g (U.S. Average: $2.55/g)
January 17, 2019: $2.82/g (U.S. Average: $2.25/g)
January 17, 2018: $2.86/g (U.S. Average: $2.55/g)
January 17, 2017: $2.68/g (U.S. Average: $2.33/g)
January 17, 2016: $2.23/g (U.S. Average: $1.90/g)
January 17, 2015: $2.14/g (U.S. Average: $2.07/g)
January 17, 2014: $3.26/g (U.S. Average: $3.29/g)
January 17, 2013: $3.27/g (U.S. Average: $3.29/g)
January 17, 2012: $3.35/g (U.S. Average: $3.38/g)

Neighboring areas and their current gas prices:
Tacoma- $3.93/g, down 2.2 cents per gallon from last week's $3.96/g.
Seattle- $4.09/g, unchanged  from last week's $4.08/g.
Washington- $3.92/g, unchanged  from last week's $3.92/g.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

More From 107.3 KFFM