Gas prices have slightly dipped over the past month, but Independence Day travelers will still face the third-highest gas costs on record for the holiday.
Gas prices in the Philadelphia region are averaging $3.51 per gallon in Pennsylvania and $3.32 per gallon in New Jersey, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge. Those prices are down from a month ago, when gas averaged $3.57 a gallon in Pennsylvania and $3.38 per gallon in New Jersey.
Nationwide, gas is averaging $3.48 a gallon, the lowest average price since Feb. 1, according to AAA.
Those slightly improved prices come as 40.8 million Americans -- including 548,000 in Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs, and 1.2 million across the state of New Jersey -- are expected to travel between today and Sunday for the Fourth of July holiday. More than 80 percent of travelers plan to drive to their destinations.
Despite the price drops, motorists are likely to pay the third-highest prices ever for gas on the Fourth of July. The national average gas price for holiday peaked at $4.10 per gallon in 2008, followed by $3.57 per gallon in 2011 and $3.34 per gallon last year.
AAA says the recent declines in price are due to high gasoline supplies and low demand.
The auto club doesn't expect gas prices to get much lower this summer.
"Gas prices remain high and may not drop too much further in July because crude oil remains relatively expensive," AAA spokeswoman Jenny Robinson said in a statement. "Factors such as increased summertime demand and the impending hurricane season could result in higher pump prices for motorists."
Additionally, as political turmoil in Egypt has intensified in recent days, the price of crude oil jumped to more than $102 a barrel Wednesday. The country's crisis has spurred fears of disruptions to the fuel supply.
Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.