1CMA Key Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics and Environment, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, no. 219 Ningliu Road, Nanjing, 210044, China
2School of Earth and Environment, Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
3Meteorology Department, University of Utah, 135 S 1460 East Rm 819 (WBB), Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0110, USA
4Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Research/System Analysis and Modelling, Max-Planck-Straße 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
Abstract. The GCSS working group on cirrus focuses on inter-comparison of model simulations for models ranging from very detailed microphysical and dynamical models through to general circulation models (GCMs). In the previous GCSS inter-comparison, it was a surprise to the modeling community how much of a range there was in ice water path predictions by different cirrus models for such idealized cases. There was some grouping according to the complexity of models; however, there were no observations with which to distinguish between model performance. The aim of the current GCSS cirrus inter-comparison is to base the study on a rigorously observed case study. In this way, the case may be used to identify which models in the inter-comparison are performing well and highlight areas for model development as well as provide a base case for future models to compare against when being developed or when testing new developments within existing models. In this paper, we present the case development for the current GCSS working group study on cirrus cloud. This paper summarizes how the case was developed and based on the 9 March 2000 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) intensive observation period (IOP). To our knowledge, this case offers the most detailed case study for cirrus comparison available, with extensive effort to derive the most appropriate large scale forcing as possible which is such a significant determinant of clouds. We anticipate this will offer significant improvement over past comparisons which have mostly been loosely based on observations. Notably this study makes use of retrievals of observations of ice water content, ice number concentration, and fall velocity, thus offering several constraints to evaluate model performance. The case study is developed utilizing various observations including ARM SGP remote sensing including the Millimeter cloud radar (MMCR), radiometers, radiosondes, aircraft observations, satellite observations, objective analysis and complemented with results from the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model output and bespoke gravity wave simulations using the 3-dimensional velocities over mountains (3DVOM) model. An initial modelling assessment of the case has been shown using the UK Met Office Large Eddy Simulation Model (LEM) which supports the use of this case for the full inter-comparison study.