McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Gas prices spiked after Christmas weekend across the Rio Grande Valley.

Prices for regular unleaded gasoline Friday typically varied around $2.69 to $2.78 across McAllen, after being priced closer to $2.29 per gallon just days ago.

In Brownsville and Harlingen, prices averaged $2.83 per gallon Friday.

Optimism falls, prices rise

On Dec. 22, before the Christmas weekend, AAA proclaimed that the “National Average Keeps Falling As New Year Approaches” as the national average for a gallon of regular gas had dipped 4 cents to $3.10.

What a difference a week makes. After that optimistic outlook, the national average now stands about 5 cents higher, about 17 cents higher in Texas, and nearly 33 cents higher in Hidalgo County, according to GasBuddy.com.

In Cameron County, prices have spiked even more–now at nearly 43 cents higher than a week ago, GasBuddy stated.

“Wholesale gas prices now stand roughly 50 [cents per gallon] higher than they did just a week or two ago,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

Why did gas prices spike?

The sudden jump might have left motorists asking: Why did gas suddenly spike?

“Thank China reopening for a rally in oil prices and cold weather hampering refiners ability to refine oil for driving up prices,” De Haan told Valley central.