Ah, those magical words "Summer-Blend" are being spoken once again, and you know what that means: gas prices are heading upward once again.

AAA Chicago, the travel organization that keeps track of these sorts of things says:

Illinois and Indiana gas prices are on the rise and will continue to rise into April when refineries switch to a more expensive summer blend of gasoline. The average price in Illinois for an unleaded gallon of gasoline is $2.39, up $.08 from a month ago, and up from $2.06 a year ago. In Indiana, the average price is $2.31, up $.16 from a month ago and up from last year’s price of $1.95. Nationally, gas prices are averaging $2.31 per gallon, which is flat from a month ago but up from $2.05 from a year ago. AAA projects the national average for a gallon of gasoline to increase 40 cents this summer, peaking near $2.70.

A new national AAA survey released this week found that nearly a quarter of consumers believe the price at the pump is already too high. More than 70 percent of those surveyed said they would make everyday lifestyle or driving changes that include combining trips or errands, driving less, reducing shopping or dining out and carpooling to offset the increase in gas prices. The average price for March in Illinois was $2.35, an increase of $.06 from the previous month and up $.37 from the previous year.

A look at some of the numbers around our area:

  • In Winnebago County, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.26 per gallon, an increase of $.03 from February and $.36 higher than March 2016.
  • In Cook County, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.55, which was up $.06 from last month and $.38 higher than last year’s price-per-gallon.
  • In DuPage County, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.39 per gallon, which was an $.08 increase from February and up $.34 from last year.
  • In Kane County, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.37 per gallon, which was up $.09 compared to last month and $.36 higher than March 2016’s price.
  • In Lake County, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.37 per gallon, which was $.09 higher than last month and $.36 higher than last year’s price.
  • In McHenry County, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.32 per gallon, which was $.05 higher than last month’s average and $.31 higher than March 2016’s price.
  • In Will County, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.35 per gallon, which was $.08 higher compared to last month and $.34 higher compared to last year.