Gas prices fell slightly from a week ago, following a general downward trend for gas prices over the past few months. That's good news for motorists gearing up for Labor Day travel in the coming weeks, but a host of variables could reverse the trend.
The outlook at the pump is getting brighter for Labor Day motorists.
Gas prices dropped by roughly a penny from a week ago, according to AAA. It's a slight decline, but it follows a general slide in gas prices over recent months, and some hope the downward trend will continue through Labor Day's travel weekend. But a hurricane, or heightened unrest in the Middle East, could change that.
"If there’s any sort of disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, it obviously could have a significant impact on gas prices," Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, said in a telephone interview.
In 2005, hurricane Katrina made landfall in the last week of August, upending gas prices that were approaching $3.00 in many parts of the country. The devastation wreaked on the Gulf region – which accounts for about 23 percent of the nation's oil output – sent gas prices higher by as much as 50 cents.