Severe winter storm bringing heavy snow, extreme winds, and tornado, reminds us of how fossils & weather are related
A blast of howling, cold winds starting on December 26th, 2015 introduced blizzard conditions to the South Plains region of Texas, where Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum is located. That evening Joe Taylor was beginning to worry about the strong winds when he went in to the kitchen and saw the curtains blowing straight out a window that had been sucked out by the tornadic winds. Taylor says that the gale-forced wind he saw blowing through his house was unlike anything he had ever seen before. He was afraid it would blow all the windows out on the West side of his house.
Unknown at the time, the tornado had swept through Crosbyton, taking a large section off the roof at Mt. Blanco Museum a few blocks away as well as taking the roof off several other buildings, knocking down telephone poles, and damaging the post office and bank. The worst was yet to come. Snow was so deep that no one was able to get into the museum for a few days. When we did, we found the shop area flooded with melting snow from the damaged roof. Leaks began to spring up all over the museum, so we hastily covered the shop equipment and our huge mastodon project with plastic.
The freezing air and all the water pouring through the museum, made it too cold to work or open for visitors. In desperation we had a used heating system installed, which made it possible to work and start drying out the very warped wooden floor in the shop. This has put us behind on the mastodon project, but we’re catching up.
The city of Lubbock, about 40 miles west of Crosbyton, officially received 11.2 inches of snow during the storm, making it the #3 heaviest snow event on record for the city. Travel was very dangerous or impossible throughout the area, as even the Lubbock fire trucks got stuck. In our area, we have been expecting an unusually cold an wet winter because of the “El Nino” phenomenon, which is a specific pattern in ocean temperatures. Since small ocean temperature changes can cause either droughts or floods for an area, you can figure how much more dramatic weather conditions would have been during and shortly after the global flood and how they would have buried fossils.
When we look at fossils in strata, it’s important to consider what kind of severe weather conditions may have buried them there. For example, we see this in the Alaska fossil beds that are littered with torn-up trees and animals buried in ice and volcanic dust, which constitute the tundra of Alaska and Sibera. Extreme hurricanes after the flood may be the reason why so many mammoths, horses, and other animals are buried along the Gulf Coast. The Clute Mammoth site that Mt. Blanco was a part of is another example of extreme weather.
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Friday, February 19
5:30 pm (CST)
on Trinity Broadcast Network
“Dinosaurs and Evidence for a Global Flood” episode of Creation in the 21st Century with David Rives, featuring Sara Bruegel of Mt. Blanco. You can also watch it live online. Find out more information here
Get your own replica of an “Ice Age” wooden bowl artifact, found with the Clute (Asiel) Mammoth in Texas Find out more info here
Watch this short video explaining how snow and ice core samples are measured for current weather conditions. This video was made by Mt. Blanco team member, Sara J. Bruegel, just after the first day of the blizzard