South Sound gasoline prices appear ready to begin the slow decline typical for fall months in the Pacific Northwest.
Average gasoline prices in the Tacoma area have dropped and stayed below the $4 mark for several days. Compared with week-ago prices, average prices in the Tacoma area now are down by nearly four cents a gallon to $3.983 a gallon according to The News Tribune’s Gas Deal Finder.
Gasoline prices in the Tacoma area peaked at nearly $4.07 a gallon on September 9 before beginning a slow downward trend.
Gasoline prices have been unusually volatile this year. After crossing the $4 mark in early spring, months before the usual spring price rise begins, those prices peaked during the Memorial Day weekend. They descended until July 10, hitting a low of $3.48 a gallon before rising again to over $4 a gallon.
In a typical year, prices peak in early summer and then fall until the second or third week of December.
The lowest price for regular unleaded this morning in the Tacoma area was reported to be $3.79 a gallon at the Bonney Lake Fred Meyer on Highway 410. In Olympia, the least expensive gas, $3.83 a gallon, was available at the Arco station at Martin Way E. and Ranger Drive SE.
Nationwide, the average price for unleaded was $3.814 a gallon. National averages are frequently lower than those in Washington because of higher gas taxes here and the lack of interconnecting pipelines to big refineries on the Gulf Coast.