User Spotlight: Kyle Margenau has Lived Around the World, and So Has His Vantage Vue
When Kyle Margenau packs up to move to another part of the world, one of the last thing he packs is his Vantage Vue. He likes to keep it running till the last moment. The marine biologist and teacher has moved quite a few times since he got his first Vantage Vue in 2009 as a birthday gift. So far, he has put his weather station outside his homes in Chongqing, China; Delhi, India; Kailua, Hawaii; North Vancouver, Canada; and finally, his current home in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Kyle is a science teacher, and that job has made it easier for him and his three children to follow his wife as she has taken on different assignments around the word for her job. His Vantage Vues have tracked it all – from the hot, humid, and coal-polluted air of the big city in China, to wind and sunshine in Hawaii, heat and monsoons in Delhi, cold in Vancouver, and now hot and humid Dubai.
When Kyle got his first weather station, he was living in Chongqing in central China. He remembers the fun challenge of installing it above the tall trees around his home, without being able to speak fluent Chinese.
“I found the industrial area where they worked with stainless steel,” he remembers. “Using broken Chinese, I got a steel worker to make me a pole that actually sleeved so I could take it apart and service the station without uninstalling the pole. I didn’t even need guy wires – the pole was pretty strong.”
After spending time in both Hawaii and British Columbia, the next stop for the Margenau family and the Vantage Vue was Delhi, where he taught middle school science at the American Embassy School.
Kyle documented the installation of Vantage Pro2 at his middle school in Delhi with a photo collage.
“I noticed that someone had put up a Vantage Vue at the school,” he remembers, “but it was totally ignored. I got it serviced by a local Davis tech in Delhi and set it up. We had good data and were working towards getting it on the school website but the station was wearing out. Then the school got a new tech director, who said, ‘just buy one!’ So I did – we bought a Vantage Pro2 and installed it, and started uploading to WeatherLink.com.”
Having the data on WeatherLink.com and uploading to Weather Underground proved to be a really good way to engage his mostly-expat students.
“The kids were all in Delhi, but they came from 60 different countries, and most were new to India. They usually had another place they associated with ‘home.’ They were learning about graphing, that was a big part of science and math for them, so we would track the daily weather and compare the weather in Delhi to the place they called home. We looked at how the humidity was changing, the moon phases, and solar radiation. It was always fun to use.”
In 2020, Kyle and his family were living in India, which was particularly hard hit by COVID. “My kids and I evacuated out of India to my home state of Hawaii, but my wife stayed on to work in Delhi. We returned after a few months and were there for the second wave. It was grim. Everyone was affected by it. Everyone knows someone who succumbed to COVID-19. It was a tough time.”
The move to Dubai, with its new places and new experiences was a nice change from Delhi. The difference in the weather was also an interesting change for a Weather Buff like Kyle, giving his second Vantage Vue station a new environment to report on.
Kyle’s youngest son helped replaced the old Vantage Vue, which had been up and running for 10 years, with a brand new one.
“My weather stations work hard! It was very hot and humid in China, and in Hawaii we were right on the water. In India we were hitting 49°C [120°F] in the summer and getting rainfall rates that would have the station saying, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs!’. Now, we’re in in Dubai -- we actually had a really tremendous rainstorm recently. As someone who grew up in Hawaii, it was just a good rainstorm, but here it was a really big deal. The first time, I think, it has rained in two years! There was still ponding on the streets after several days, from about 30 to 35 mm [about 1 -1.5 inches) of rain. It doesn’t sound like much but the city doesn’t even have storm drains because it never rains! They just deal with ponding and flooding every other year. In the summertime the high Heat Index can be over 60°C [140°F].”
Wherever they go, Kyle does what he loves: teaching. While he usually teaches science, his current position is teaching a high school business and entrepreneurship class as a long-term sub at the American School Dubai. But even in this class, he manages to get weather into the curriculum, because weather affects everything, including business. He has also taught in the Makersspace, which in Kyle’s opinion is “the evolution of the shop class but bringing in design thinking.”
Kyle and his son were happy to see another Vantage Vue recently when they were visiting the beautiful Al Wasal Plaza dome in Dubai at Expo2020. He looked up and noticed a familiar silhouette in the dome and he sent us this gorgeous image.
“It was super cool,” he gushed. “I was wandering around and looked up and thought, that looks like a Vantage Vue but why is in inside the dome? I found out there are two and both are reporting to WeatherLink.com -- I think to monitor the wind because the dome is open to the elements. They use projectors to light up the dome and do big shows, so wind could be an issue. And they can also keep track of temperatures inside the dome.”
His life of travel has taught him a that everywhere has its good and bad, but weather everywhere is fascinating.
“You have to appreciate it wherever you are! But, I try to never compare the weather to my home town in Hawaii.” he concluded.
Thanks Kyle, for giving our Vantage Vue a real-life global environmental test!