Motorists are getting an early December gift in the form of plummeting gasoline prices, which hit $3.56 for a gallon of regular Tuesday in Santa Rosa, down more than $1 from record levels set just two months ago.
Experts attributed the dramatic price drop to lower demand and robust supply, predicting pump prices will continue to fall this month and continue in 2013.
"We're in a good place right now," said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokeswoman.
Crude oil prices — a key factor in the price consumers pay — are hovering under $90 a barrel, and Harris said she sees no volatility in the West Coast petroleum market.
"Right now we're coasting," she said, with lowered gas consumption, cheaper winter-blend fuel in use and no hiccups at California oil refineries.