SAN ANTONIO -

The first signs of spring have sprung, and motorist are feeling it at the gas pump.

Prices have bloomed 7 cents in as many days to as high as $3.25 a gallon.

"That's why I'm getting but $5 worth of gas," said Donna Rooks.

Her five bucks will soon buy even less as industry watches expect prices to continue to creep up through March.

That's not what college student Catherine Reed wanted to hear just two weeks from her Spring Break road trip.

"I'm either going to have to start working more or driving less places," she said.

The usual suspects are driving the increase. Crude prices are up and refineries have begun to draw down supplies to get ready to switch to cleaner-burning summer blends.

San Antonio's average price is $3.14 a gallon, according to AAA. That's a 7-cent increase over a one-week time span.

However, drivers are paying a lot less than this same time last year when a gallon was going for $3.57.

That's little consolation now to Val Soelinksi, who's had to cut back on her fuel bill.

"I usually do a lot of volunteer work, but I can afford to be doing all the driving any more," she said.

Although industry analysts predict continued increases through spring, they cautiously predict prices to peak at about $3.50 a gallon.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.