Beni-Mellal is a Moroccan city and the capital city of the Tadla-Azilal Region, with a population of 163,286 (2004 census). It sits at the foot of Mount Tassemit (2247m), and next to the plains of Beni Amir. As the city lies quite far inland and is shielded by the Middle Atlas mountains the area has a real continental climate with very hot summers and quite cold winters. Because of these factors the overall climate can be considered in a fluctuative state generally moderating between two larger extremes in temperature and climate. This climate situation is similar to what exists in Marquette, Michigan and many other places that have climate fluctation as a result of the continental climate shift.