Gas demand plunged 4.8% Monday compared to the prior week as the summer driving season continues to wind down.
It's a trend that's projected to continue throughout the week, GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan told FOX Business, adding that this dip is common for this time of year.
"As schools are getting back in session, it was indeed expected," De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said.
Previously, De Haan projected that peak demand would be around late July and early August.
"Now we're in mid-August and I do believe the peak has passed as vacations and summer travel slowly wind down," he added.
There's a possibility that we may see a "spurt" of demand during the Labor Day holiday, but other than that "the ship may have sailed," De Haan noted.
De Haan projected that the slow downturn will continue until the holidays "when we may see a seasonal rise." After New Year's Day, demand will likely drop off again until spring 2022.
Although the COVID-19 delta variant is fueling a surge in cases and hospitalizations, posing a threat to the nation's recovery, it "doesn't seem to be having much of an active role" in gas demand.
"That is, it's not noticeably changing expected trends" although it "could enhance trends," De Haan said.
While demand wanes, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. continues to hover around $3.17. However, prices "should start drifting lower, accelerating the fall by mid-September," De Haan tweeted.