Gas prices have dwindled down a few cents over the last several days since they peaked in the metro-east at $3.38 last week.
But gasbuddy.com predicts that the trend of relatively cheap gas is about to come to an end. It forecasts that the price at the pump could rise as much as 40 cents a gallon between now and Easter Sunday.
According to the fuel price monitoring website, the cheapest gas in the Belleville area Thursday could be found at Shop 'N Save on North Belt West where it was $3.21 a gallon.
But the site predicts gas will soon rise dramatically because of several reasons:
* Gas prices typically go up in the spring when people travel more, driving up demand. An extreme winter across the country helped push the demand unusually low, so a big rebound is likely.
* Fuel suppliers will switch in the coming weeks from winter to summer blends of gas, which is more expensive to produce.
* Several refineries that supply the U.S. market with gasoline are either down for maintenance or are scheduled to soon go off-line for work.