The Weather Dice and The Butterfly

Weather Eye
with John Maunder

The Weekend Sun newspaper is published every Friday in Tauranga ( New Zealand) and contains a range of local information including comments from several columnists. During part of 2012, I provided a "Weather Eye" comment which was published on the second and fourth Friday of each month. My column was also published on the website SunLive.
From March 2013, the column has been published each week on Sunlive.
This is the 100th WeatherEye.
The following web site lists the various WeatherEyes and the web site address on SunLive for them. For ease of reference the full text of  the WeatherEyes is also included.

Weather dice were shown on the cover of my book  published in 1968.

The book cover, which has two dice on a "monopoly board" with various weather symbols on each side of the dice, represent the reality that most,  if not all, of the weather (and ultimately most of the climate), is ultimately related to how the weather dice fall.

Who or what controls the fall of the weather dice, and how significant the role of human induced activities is, is the ultimate question for all meteorologists and climate scientists.

However, many meteorologists consider that the atmosphere is generally in a chaotic mode and have coined the phase the the "butterfly effect",  which if correct, means that we just have to continue to live, and adapt to whatever the weather and the climate provides.

Professor Edward Lorenz (1917-2008) was a meteorologist who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, and in 1972 presented an academic paper entitled "Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?"

This paper resulted in the development of "chaos theory" or simply "the butterfly effect" which among other things, endeavours to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts beyond about 10 days, and has implications for making good climate forecasts, particularly when considering the natural causes of climate change.

For further information on a range of climate matters see


There are no comments on this blog.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

What do you use SunLive for most?

Traffic/crash updates
Finding out about Council
Crime/court reports
Find out about local arts/entertainment
Stories about community groups