Mesoscale simulations of gravity waves in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere over North America and North Atlantic Ocean in January 2003 are compared with satellite radiance measurements from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A). Four regions of strong gravity wave (GW) activities are found in the model simulations and the AMSU-A observations: the northwestern Atlantic, the U.S. Rockies, the Appalachians, and Greenland. GWs over the northwestern Atlantic Ocean are associated with the midlatitude baroclinic jet-front system, while the other three regions are apparently related to high topography. Model simulations are further used to analyze momentum fluxes in the zonal and meridional directions. It is found that strong westward momentum fluxes are prevalent over these regions over the whole period. Despite qualitative agreement between model simulations and satellite measurements, sensitivity experiments demonstrate that the simulated GWs are sensitive to the model spin-up time. © 2013 The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.