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Mount Waialeale: Map


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Mount Wai ale ale ( in Hawaiian, literally, "rippling water" or "overflowing water" and also often spelt Waialeale in English without the okina), elevation , is a shield volcano and the second highest point on the island of Kaua imarker in the Hawaiian Islands. Averaging more than of rain a year since 1912, with a record in 1982, its summit is considered one of the rainiest spots on earth. It has been promoted in tourist literature for many years as the wettest spot, although the 38-year average at Mawsynrammarker, Meghalayamarker, Indiamarker is . However, Mawsynram's rainfall is concentrated in the monsoon season, while the rain at Wai ale ale is more evenly distributed through the year.

Several factors give the summit of Wai ale ale more potential to create precipitation than the rest of the island chain:
  1. Its northern position relative to the main Hawaiian Islands provides more exposure to frontal systems that bring rain during the winter.
  2. It has a relatively round and regular conical shape, exposing all sides of its peak to winds and the moisture that they carry.
  3. Its peak lies just below the so-called trade wind inversion layer of , above which trade-wind-produced clouds cannot rise.
  4. And most importantly, the steep cliffs cause the moisture-laden air to rise rapidly - over in less than - and drop a large portion of its rain in one spot, as opposed to spreading the rain out over a larger area if the slope were more gradual.

The great rainfall in the area produces the Alaka i Wilderness Preservemarker, a large boggy area that is home to many rare plants. The ground is so wet that although trails exist, access by foot to the Wai ale ale area is extremely difficult.


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