Comparisons between model results and the observations suggest that COAMPS performed the best in simulating the outflow jet within 200 km offshore, although the simulated surface fluxes deviated significantly from the observations. This is the region with dominant dynamical forcing arises from the coastal topography. Larger discrepancies were found in model result further away from the coast, especially to the south and southeast of the gulf where the air-sea exchange became increasingly important. Detailed inter-comparison between COAMPS and the aircraft measurements at 40 m also shows the strong spatial and temporal variations of boundary layer thermodynamics and turbulence that require improved characterization of the sea surface temperature, upper air conditions, and initial conditions for COAMPS. The results also point to the needs of improved surface flux parameterization, particularly in high wind conditions.