Only a few weeks ago, gas prices were dropping several cents a week in Kansas, bottoming out in Topeka around $1.80 a gallon.
Now, the prices are on a steady upswing, with unleaded gas going anywhere from $2.09 to $2.29 a gallon, according to Gasbuddy.com.
The average prices in Kansas rose 6 cents over the past week and on Monday sat at $2.25 a gallon, AAA Kansas says. That total is up 30 cents in the past month.
AAA says Kansas' 6-cent increase in the past week was the fifth largest jump in the nation.
AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward said Kansas usually ranks among the top 10 states for cheapest gas, but this week's average puts the state in the 13th place. Still, Steward noted, Kansas is 18 cents below the national average of $2.43 a gallon.
“Pump prices rose steadily in Kansas and across the country in February, a month that saw a number of refineries undergoing planned and unplanned maintenance, and an increase in crude oil prices,” Steward said in a news release. “Gas prices have been pushed higher this week due to reduced gasoline stock levels and increased demand.
"Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to increase as refineries gear up for spring gasoline production and maintenance season.”
In Kansas, the highest per-gallon gas prices were in Smith County, located in the north-central part of the state, where customers paid $2.51. The lowest price was $2.10 a gallon in Kiowa County, located in the southwest part of the state.
The national gas price average has increased nearly 20 cents a gallon since the beginning of the year, which is the largest jump during the January-February time period since 2015, Steward said.
Monday's national average was $2.42, which is 3 cents more expensive than last week and 17 cents more expensive than a month ago, but 10 cents cheaper than a year ago.
Nationwide, the highest gas prices were in California and Hawaii, which checked in at $3.30 a gallon. The lowers prices could be found in Missouri, where a gallon of gas averaged $2.17 a gallon.