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Gas prices continue upward surge in Santa Rosa

Gasoline prices continued an early-year surge on Thursday, hitting a $4.32 average for a gallon of regular gas in Santa Rosa amid signs that the escalation will continue.

Thursday's price at the pump was up 20 cents from a week ago and 59 cents higher than a month ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

Prices have never been so high at this time of year, prior to the seasonal escalation that accompanies the arrival of warm weather driving and California's switch to a more expensive blend of gasoline.

A year ago, Santa Rosa's average price was $3.76.

Crude oil prices moved up 53 cents to more than $107 a barrel in New York on Thursday along with rising stock prices on Wall Street, both factors that portend more pain at the pump for motorists.

Analysts say California could break the $4.55 a gallon record set in June 2008 this year, and possibly spike as high as $5.

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