Gas prices finally started to level off this week after a historic rise to the start of 2013, reports AAA.

The prices began to fall nationally on Feb. 23 after a streak of 36 straight days with an increase. But the national average of $3.77 cents per gallon, which is one cent lower than a week ago, is still the highest on record for March 1.

New Jersey’s average gas price Friday was $3.61, down from two cents a week ago and the same price as a year ago.

But experts still think prices will increase through at least St. Patrick’s Day before finally coming down again.

“Gas prices increased at a dramatically faster pace than expected in February,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Motorists unfortunately are paying more for gasoline than ever at this time of year. There is a lot of uncertainty on where gas prices will go over the next few weeks, and there is still refinery maintenance to be completed, and most of the country must transition to summer-blend gasoline, so motorists are likely to face continued high prices in the weeks ahead. But hopefully the worst of the price spikes are behind us for now.”

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.