St. Kitts is part of the Leeward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles. Its Geographic coordinates are 17 20 N, 62 45 W. It is located 19 degrees north of the equator and about 3.2 Kilometeres from its sister island Nevis, 113 kilometers south of Anguilla and 300 kilometers southeast of Puerto Rico. Total land area is 176 square kilometers (68 square miles). St. Kitts is 23 miles long and 5 miles across at its widest points.
Geology and landforms
Geologically, St. Kitts is a hilly or mountainous and volcanic in origin, representing adjacent peaks in a chain of partially submerged volcanic mountains covered in tropical rainforest. The islands are subject to subterranean seismographic activity, which sometimes results in earthquakes. Lava deposits on the windward side of St. Kitts attest to the area's volcanic past.
St. Kitts is shaped like an oval with a long neck and a small peninsula at its southeastern end or like the natives like to say that it shape like a guitar. The peninsula is flat and consists of salt ponds and white beaches. Towering mountains extend through the central part of the island, running from southeast to northwest. Mount Liamuiga (formerly Mount Misery) which means 'fetile land', is a dormant volcanic cone with an elevation of 1,156 meters (3792 feet), is the highest point on the island. Brimstone Hall, on the southwest side of the island, is 229 meters high and is composed of volcanic rock covered with a layer of limestone.
There are numerous rivers descending from the mountains, which provide fresh water to the local population. St. Kitts also has one small lake. St. Kitts' fertile soil is well watered, has adequate drainage, and usually requires little or no irrigation. Forested areas cover 4,500 hectares of land and include both rain forests at the lower altitudes and evergreen forests above 250 meters. There are 7,700 hectares of agriculturally productive land, much of the soil consisting of a clay base. An acute erosion problem persisted into the late 1980s on certain parts of the island. Erosion was a result of a mineral deficiency caused by a lack of crop rotation, overgrazing, and inadequate intercropping.
St. Kitts has a tropical climate tempered by the northeast trade winds; there is little daily or seasonal variation. Temperatures generally range between 18°C and 32°C and average approximately 26°C (79°F); lower temperatures prevail in the higher elevations. Humidity is generally about 70 percent. Annual rainfall averages 55 inches (1,397 millimetres).
The island do not have the distinct rainy season characteristic of many other Caribbean islands. Winds are predominantly easterly and seldom exceed nineteen kilometers per hour except during the islands' hurricane season, which occurs from July to September.