Niihau is the westernmost and seventh largest of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands in the U.S. state of Hawaiii, lying 28.2 kilometres southwest of Kauai across the Kaulakahi Channel and having an area of 180 km2.
The island is relatively arid because it lies in the rain shadow of Kauaʻi, and lacks the elevation needed to catch significant amounts of trade wind rainfall. Niʻihau therefore, depends for its rain on winter Kona storms, when more northerly weather systems intrude into the region. As such, the island is subject to long periods of drought.
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