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Pump prices in California and other states are surging and refining and ethanol costs rise. / Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Gasoline prices are making their annual spring climb.

The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has risen 5 cents the past two weeks. The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday says the price of a gallon of regular is $3.61, the highest price in Lundberg's twice-monthly surveys since late July 2013.

The price is 4 cents below its year-ago point but 44 cents higher than 2013's low.

Californians saw some especially painful spikes this weekend. Drivers there are averaging $4.04 a gallon after a 35-cent jump in wholesale prices since mid-March -- prices could hit up to $4.25 within days.

Tarnishing pump prices in the Golden State: lower supplies and rising crude oil costs. Ethanol, blended into gasoline, is also up nearly 60% year-to-date on higher corn and rail shipping costs.

Nationally, 2014 gas prices will likely top at about $3.65 a gallon the next few weeks, says Tom Kloza, senior energy analyst with price tracker gasbuddy.com.

"We'll peak this month in many parts of the country, but you'll see higher prices in Southern California, the Northeast and parts of the Midwest,'' Kloza says.

Hawaii, currently averaging $4.27 a gallon, was the only other state with $4 plus gasoline before Sunday. Montana has the nation's cheapest gas, averaging $3.26.

Tweet Strauss @gbstrauss.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: California bad dreaming? Gas prices head higher

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