Tennessee's per-gallon gas price average increases 10 cents

The average per-gallon price of regular gas in Tennessee was $3.45 Sunday, a rise of 10 cents compared to the mark from the previous week, according to AAA.

The price per average statewide has now risen 20 cents during the past two weeks.

Relatedly, the Nashville market's per-gallon gas price average (see below) on Sunday was $3.51, up 12 cents from the $3.39 mark from a week ago.

Retail gas prices jumped another 10 cents across the Southeast last week and the upward trend is not expected to slow down anytime soon, according to AAA The Auto Club Group. If price trends follow those of 2011 and 2012, motorists could see gas prices rise until mid-September, AAA reports.

Decreases in oil inventories, tensions in the Mideast and a jump in fuel demand pushed the price of crude oil to a 16-month high, AAA reports. Another factor that has the market on edge and the potential to drive gas prices even higher is the looming peak hurricane season. The mere threat of a storm can cause wholesale prices to spike.

"Motorists need to prepare themselves for increased pump prices,” Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group, said in a release. "We’re likely to see a lot more volatility in the market as peak hurricane season approaches. The average cost for a gallon of gas in the Southeast could climb upwards of $3.70 to $3.80, or higher if a storm disrupts refineries along the coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The cost for a barrel of oil closed last Friday at $108.05 on the NYMEX — $2.10 more than the mark from the week prior.

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.67, 20 cents more than the figure of last week. For comparison with Tennessee’s average of $3.45, Georgia’s average price for a gallon of regular gas as $3.54 yesterday, nine cents more than the mark of last Sunday.