12/18/2013 01:12 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Snow In Calgary And Edmonton Means White Christmas Likely, But Frustrations Remain


Calgarians dreaming of a white Christmas just might be in luck.

More than 30 centimeteres of snow has fallen on Calgary in the first half of December – levels that haven't been matched in more than 112 years, reports Metro News.

In fact, 15 out of the first 16 days of December have seen snow in the southern Alberta city, brining everything from light flurries to full-on blizzards.

“This has been the cruellest end of fall ever,” David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, told the Calgary Sun.

“It’s burying you,” he said.

Phillips says it's not been since 1901 that Calgary has seen so much snow, adding that the average snowfall for the first 16 days of December is just 8 centimetres.

Meteorologist Bill McMurtry explained to Metro more than 60 centimetres of snow has fallen on Calgary since the beginning of November, adding there's "a pretty good chance we’re going to have a white Christmas."

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Snow woes have plagued both Calgary and Edmonton, as the seemingly non-stop snow creates massive windrows, snow drifts and icy conditions on city streets and sidewalks.

Residents in Calgary's northeast, which bore the worst of a blizzard more than two weeks ago, are becoming increasingly frustrated with the city's handling of snow accumulation.

This snowfall has been the worst that we’ve had so far,” Temple resident Amanda Meikle told the Calgary Herald. “A lack of response has made it this bad.”

Meikle says the city has only cleared the main roads and bus routes, leaving the rest of the neighbourhood to dig itself out.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi admitted last week the city's snow clearance efforts have failed in several areas in Calgary, adding the current plan is inflexible and could do a better job plowing residential areas.

In Edmonton, the snow has become matter of public safety, as many have landed in hospital due to slick sidewalks.

According to Global Edmonton, the University of Alberta says it has seen many people in the emergency department, injured after taking a tumble on sidewalks that haven't been cleared properly.

"People are falling left, right and centre," emergency physician Dr. Louis Francescutti told the Edmonton Sun.

"We're seeing it in older people, younger people, workers, at home, at play -- like literally everywhere."

And while the City of Edmonton has asked residents to put sand down on sidewalks, one resident told Global if Edmonton's community centres aren't already out of sand supply, the paths to the sand box are so icy it's impossible to collect sand without falling.

Bob Dunford, head of the city's Roadways Maintenance, told Global the city is working to get all the sand boxes restocked, but adds people can also buy their own bags of sand or de-icer.

Temperatures across Alberta plummeted overnight Tuesday, and a flash freeze warning was issued for Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge and Valleyview in Alberta.

Environment Canada issues a flash freeze warning when above-zero temperatures are predicted to drop below 0 C at a rate at or above 12 C in three hours.

While the cold will stick around for the rest of the week and into the weekend, Environment Canada is predicting the mercury will climb across Alberta early next week, with temperatures in most parts of the province hovering around 0 C.