Yet again, California gas prices hit a new record. This photo, from Monday,… (AFP/Getty Images )
For the fourth straight day, California has a new record for gasoline prices, but the rise has apparently lost nearly all of its momentum.
The average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline in California today is $4.671 a gallon, up just 0.3 cents overnight, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, which tracks prices from 100,000 retail outlets across the U.S.
That's still 48.9 cents a gallon higher than it was a week ago and 86.6 cents a gallon above last year's price.
PHOTOS: The top 10 gas misers
Wholesale prices rose overnight from about $3.19 a gallon to about $3.515, but that was still well below the $4.39 a gallon they reached last week.
Analysts caution that when prices do begin to drop, the decreases will be slow.
"On the way up, there is the compelling need for these gas stations to survive. This was not opportunism on their part," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. "On the way down, they can feather their decline."
The situation in California "is still a bucking bronco at the moment," Kloza said, "but for every day that goes by without another refinery problem, things will begin to ease."
Cars with the best fuel efficiency value
Sen. Feinstein wants feds to probe gas price shock
Sen. Boxer adds another call for the feds to investigate