Like autumn leaves, gasoline prices are falling.

It's been subtle, but have you noticed regular unleaded gas now averages $3.46 a gallon? That's the lowest national average since January, and 35 cents less than year-ago levels. Prices are expected to drop another 20 to 25 cents in the coming weeks.  I can't wait!

Around here, the lowest price I've seen is $3.38 at some stations, but our average seems to be around $3.45.

Our news partner, WZZM TV13 reports that USA Today wrote the price fall is because of record high refining in the U.S., shrinking consumer demand and slumping crude oil prices, according to Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for Internet website price tracker GasBuddy.com.

Crude squirted to two-year highs of $112 a barrel in August on fears that U.S. military intervention in war-torn Syria would disrupt global supplies. With Syrian intervention less likely and thawing tensions with Iran, a far bigger oil producer, crude oil prices continue to slump. Light, sweet crude eased 46 cents to $103.13 a barrel Tuesday. Wholesale gas prices for October delivery, now $2.66 a gallon, are 60 cents below August levels in some markets.

Consumers are also getting a break because refineries in several states have switched from summer-grade blends to winter-grades that are 10 to 15 cents a gallon cheaper.

Where is the cheapest state for gas?  South Carolina, averages $3.13. Most expensive; Hawaii, averaging $4.30.