Why are big bubbles such big trouble in Colorado? Well, there are several factors that interfere with creating bubbles in Colorado. First, let’s talk about what bubbles need to survive. Bubbles need at least 30% humidity for any life expectancy. When humidity is less than that, it tends to extremely shorten the life of a big bubble. Small bubbles are easier to keep around but still need some kind of barier to help keep in the moisture in without weighing down the bubble itself. As the liquid swirls and drops to the bottom of the bubble, a thinning area at the top begins to form. Sunshine tends to dry that spot even faster. Colorado’s evaporation rate is about 0.8% to 0.7%, compared to Miami that is about 0.1%. So you are talking about at least 7 times shorter life span for a bubble in Colorado.
Now, Colorado can be unpredictable with wind and rain. You always layer your clothing, cause in the blink of an eye, the weather can change. Our humidity in Colorado changes from Morning, to Noon and then in the evening. So the hottest part of the day tends to also be the windiest. The humidity is almost a 10% difference in the morning from about 12pm. Rain clouds move in about 2-5pm if they are due to pass us and dump some moisture. The moister here is not likely to be a simple light drizzle, it usually comes down in buckets or even hail!
What does this all mean? It means that you need a different viscosity of solution for different humidity and weather conditions. A heavier solution may not work in Miami, where a lighter one may not work in Colorado. Here is another factor, elevation. The lower elevation, the lighter air pressure you will find and less gravitational pull of the liquid in the bubble. In Colorado Springs, the elevation is 5740–7200 feet. That is alot of pull downward! The air is also thinner here, plus dry. So you have alot of challenges in making big bubbles.
Have you ever notice that marathon runners train in Colorado? Our USA Olympic training center is here in Colorado Springs, Colorado so that the athletes get the best benefit from their training at such a high altitude. When they compete at a lower altitude, they benefit from the richer oxygen and lighter gravitational pull on their bodies.
So you have to find the right viscosity, the right solution for the right weather on the right day. That takes art and science! Creating the right recipe takes planning ahead and making sure your solution is aged well like a good cheese. It takes time for all the ingredients to blend well and bond together.
Next time you make a bubble recipe, make sure to write down what you made, measurements and how it reacts to certain weather patterns. Test it a different times of the day. Water down your platform and see if it helps the life span of your bubbles. Happy Bubbling!