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Located in the north-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait is one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of land area. The flat, sandy Arabian Desert covers most of Kuwait. There is little difference in the country’s altitude with the highest point in the country being 306 m above sea-level. It has nine islands, all of which with the exception of Failaka Island are uninhabited. With an area of 860 km², the Bubiyan is the largest island in Kuwait and is connected to the rest of the country by a 2,380 m long bridge. Sparse vegetation is found along its 499 km long coastline] Kuwait City is located on Kuwait Bay, a natural deep-water harbor.
Kuwait has some of the world’s richest oil fields with the Burgan field having a total capacity of approximately 70 billion barrels (1.1×1010 m3) of proven oil reserves. During the 1991 Kuwait oil fires, more than 500 oil lakes were created covering a combined surface area of about 35.7 km². The resulting soil contamination due to oil and soot accumulation had made eastern and south-eastern parts of Kuwait uninhabitable. Sand and oil residue had reduced large parts of the Kuwaiti desert to semi-asphalt surfaces.
Kuwait has an arid continental climate. Summer, which lasts from May to September, is extremely hot and dry with temperatures easily crossing 45 °C (113 °F) during daytime. Winter season, from November through February, is cool with some precipitation and average temperatures around 13 °C (56 °F) with extremes from -2 °C to 27 °C. Annual rainfall averages less than 127 mm and occurs chiefly between October and April. The spring season in March is warm and pleasant with occasional thunderstorms. The frequent winds from the northwest are cool in winter and spring and hot in summer.
Southeasterly winds, usually hot and damp, spring up between July and October; hot and dry south winds prevail in spring and early summer. The shamal, a northwesterly wind common during June and July.
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