By Vince Gerasole

CHICAGO (CBS) — Gas prices have jumped again overnight.

A gallon of regular is now averaging $2.96 in the city of  Chicago.

That’s according to GasBuddy.com.

It’s up over a quarter compared to a month ago.

It’s a little cheaper in the suburbs but prices there are rising too.

Prices there are averaging $2.87 a gallon.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole looks into why prices are rising so rapidly right now.

We’re used to the cycle of gas prices pumping up in the springtime.

But this year, they’re reaching levels not seen since 2015.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the city of Chicago is posting a nearly three-year high.

Blame in part the soaring cost of crude oil.

It’s now at $67.00 a barrel, its highest level since 2014.

Also at this time of year, area refineries cut back operations to clean their facilities and switch over to the production of summer blend gasoline.

But GasBuddy.com petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan says there are other variables too.

“There’s always factors that are unpredictable. The situation in Syria, the trade tensions with China,” says DeHaan. “They really add to what we’re paying at the pump.

Motorists may not like the higher prices but with spring in the air, they’re coping as best they can.