Graphical Abstract

Mesinger, F., and K. Veljovic, 2020: Topography in weather and climate models: Lessons from cut-cell Eta vs. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts experiments. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 98, 881-900.   Graphical Abstract with highlights

Plain Language Summary: Advantages and issues of methods of incorporating topography in weather and climate models are summarized. Terrain-following coordinates used in almost all major models do have issues with steepness of model terrain exceeding a given limit. Immersed boundary methods accept both the grid and the model topography as they are and address prescription of boundary conditions and adjustments of physics parameterizations. Cut-cell schemes prescribe bottoms of their lowest cells to define topography and are able to use finite-volume discretizations. New views are offered via analyses of experiments driving cut-cell Eta by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (EC) 32-day ensemble members.