RIVERSIDE — If you filled your tank with gas over the weekend,, you will know what we mean when we say March Madness is in full swing at the gas pumps.

Riverside gas prices have risen 1.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.27/g today, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 481 stations. Gas prices in Riverside are 4.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, yet stand 9.7 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Riverside is priced at $2.93/g today while the most expensive is $3.99/g, a difference of $1.06/g. The lowest price in the state today is $2.62/g while the highest is $4.59/g, a difference of $1.97/g. The cheapest price in the entire country today stands at $1.79/g while the most expensive is $4.59/g, a difference of $2.80/g. This is March Madness at the gas pumps.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 4.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.54/g today. The national average is up 20.6 cents per gallon from a month ago, yet stands 0.3 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Historical gasoline prices in Riverside and the national average going back a decade during March Madness:

March 18, 2018: $3.37/g (U.S. Average: $2.54/g) March 18, 2017: $2.99/g (U.S. Average: $2.29/g) March 18, 2016: $2.70/g (U.S. Average: $1.98/g) March 18, 2015: $3.36/g (U.S. Average: $2.42/g) March 18, 2014: $3.98/g (U.S. Average: $3.52/g) March 18, 2013: $4.15/g (U.S. Average: $3.68/g) March 18, 2012: $4.35/g (U.S. Average: $3.84/g) March 18, 2011: $3.94/g (U.S. Average: $3.54/g) March 18, 2010: $3.06/g (U.S. Average: $2.79/g) March 18, 2009: $2.12/g (U.S. Average: $1.91/g)

Neighboring areas and their current gas prices during March Madness:

  • San Bernardino — $3.25/g, down 0.3 cents per gallon from last week’s $3.25/g.
  • Orange County — $3.31/g, unchanged  from last week’s $3.31/g.
  • Los Angeles — $3.36/g, unchanged  from last week’s $3.36/g.

“March madness is already in full swing at pumps across the country as the U.S. has seen the national average rise for five straight weeks and there’s no sign of a slowdown yet,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a prepared statement. “Several perhaps major refinery issues flared up over the weekend, including fires at two facilities that could push wholesale gasoline prices up notably, mainly in the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf Coast, should the shutdowns linger. This is the time of year that energy markets are very sensitive to such unexpected outages as dozens of refineries across the country perform maintenance in a tight window ahead of the summer driving season. Any major outages can lead to tight inventory ahead of specification changes and have a severe impact on gas prices. The situation is delicate and bears further monitoring in the days ahead.”

For LIVE fuel price averages during March Madness, click here.