'Delay filling completely': Gas expert weighs in on Phoenix area gas prices, shortage

If you haven't noticed yet, gas prices have shot up within the last few weeks in the Phoenix area and an expert with GasBuddy is explaining why.

"Phoenix and parts of Western Arizona are having some temporary challenges getting gasoline to the pumps as quickly as motorists are filling up," says a portion of a tweet by Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.

He suggests drivers not fill up their cars completely to help lessen the impact of the shortage.

De Haan says the issue is likely made worse because of Arizona's three different "blends of gasoline required during March."

"It's been like this whole week. I've been to already like five gas stations that didn't have gas. Mainly all the Circle K's don't have gas," a driver named Adrian said.

Around the Valley, there are reports of several gas stations running out of fuel entirely. Those that have fuel are charging more than they did a month ago.

"They went down for a bit, but now they're just going up and going up. They've just been staying at the same price," Adrian said.

Even those visiting Arizona are experiencing sticker shock.

"We're from Wisconsin. We're here for spring break. We're about a dollar more than we were back from Wisconsin. It's kind of one of those tough realities," another driver named Andrew said.

AAA says the shortages seem to be isolated incidents, and they haven't gotten reports of any overarching problems in the state, but there is an explanation for the high prices at the pump.

"Demand for gas across the country has picked up a lot," says Julian Paredes, AAA spokesperson. "Some states have already started switching to the more expensive summer blend, and supply across the entire region has been affected by severe weather, especially in California."

Arizona gets fuel from Texas and California, and the strain on supply, is the culmination of quite a few factors.

"Particularly in California, March is really also the time when some refineries shut down for maintenance," Paredes explained. "Plus a lot of storms are affecting transportation and that’s leading to a big rise in the cost."