Susquehanna Valley gas prices continue to hover at $3.435 per gallon as 9.5 million Mid-Atlantic Region motorists from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania embarked on their holiday travel trips.

On the national front

The national average price of gas has been ticking higher in the days leading up to Christmas. The low for 2013, which was also the lowest price since February 2011, came on Nov. 12 when the national average registered $3.18 per gallon.

Tuesday's national average price at the pump is $3.258 per gallon; almost two cents less expensive than one month ago, but up nearly four cents from last week and up a penny from the same date last year.

Even with the national average again on the rise, motorists across the country are experiencing different levels of pain at the pump versus last year's holiday travel period.

After posting some of the lowest wholesale prices in the nation this fall, gas prices in the Midwest have jumped over the last week due to a number of refinery issues, and retail prices in that region have risen as a result. The ten highest one-week increases are all in the Midwest, including three states where prices have surged a dime or more: Minnesota (+10 cents), Michigan (+11 cents) and Ohio (+13 cents).

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil begins a 10th consecutive week below $100 per barrel; however, WTI prices have made a recent run back toward the triple-digit threshold last breached in October. At the close of Monday's formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled 41 cents lower at $98.91 per barrel.

(AAA East Central - a not-for-profit association with 82 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.7 million members - provides Fuel Gauge each week.)

This week's Susquehanna Valley average price - $3.435

Average price during the week of December 17, 2013 - $3.432

The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

Lewisburg - $3.384

Mifflinburg - $3.460

Milton - $3.391

Selinsgrove - $3.463

Shamokin - $3.456

Sunbury - $3.459