Thanksgiving Forecast: Falling Gas Prices, Possible Rain Sunday
There's good news and bad news for drivers as they hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The good news is that prices are once again headed down after heading up for the past month. The average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Hampshire has dropped 10 cents a gallon in the past week to $3.70, according to AAA's gas price survey. In Maine, it's down eight cents to $3.87.
The bad news is that even with the drop, motorists are paying the highest Thanksgiving national average prices since AAA started keeping records in 2000, according to AAA Northern New England spokesman Dan Goodman.
There's a number of factors pushing prices down.
"There's still a fear of a recession. We're seeing a decline in demand for gasoline in the United States and around the world," Goodman said. "There's a worsening COVID outbreak in China and talk of another lockdown. Brent crude was trading now around $88 earlier Tuesday. That's a 25-30% decline of a high of $130 in March."
The Gift of Low Prices
"If the oil markets hold...at these levels, gas prices are going to continue to fall. And we know typically, especially in the northeast, that after the holidays...people cut back on driving, and gasoline demand drops to it to some of the lower levels. I think motorists will continue over the next month to enjoy lower gas prices."
AAA predicts 2.47 million New Englanders will travel 50 miles or more from home, a 1.9% increase over 2021. Most will be traveling by automobile, according to Goodman.
Goodman recommended traveling on Wednesday morning, and to avoid Wednesday afternoon if you can. Heading home, he suggests avoiding late afternoons between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
"Before you get on the road, plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you're driving or flying. Understand your route. Avoid those congested areas. Drive distracted and impaired-free. We want you to get to your destination safely and have a fun Thanksgiving with family and friends."
The weather also looks ideal for traveling at the start of the holiday weekend, not only in New England and the northeast, but for most of the country.
"There are two exceptions where airline delays and cancellations may pose problems: a bit of rain and snow Tuesday in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho), and the chance for heavy rain on Wednesday-Thursday in the Deep South (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi)," according to Townsquare meteorologist Dan Zarrow.
The end of the weekend forecast is looking like rain with gusty winds on Sunday, but accumulating snow cannot be ruled out, according to the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.