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The city is located in the Atlas Mountains, at an elevation of 1,300 metres. The town is surrounded by olive and fruit trees. Errachidia has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification "BSk"). Winters are cool and dry while summers are hot and dry. Precipitation is low, with only rain falling in the winter months; however snowfall can occur once or twice a year during wintertime when heavy storms from northern Morocco enter southern Morocco through this region of high mountains that separate both countries. Errachidia was founded around 990 CE by refugees from Kairouan who were fleeing the Fatimids after their defeat at Zalakah near Al Qayrawan (Tunisia). They settled on top of Jebel Irhoud which overlooks today's city to found their new capital: Dar Irhoud ("the house/home of Irhoud").