In this study, observations from a high-frequency radar (HFR) deployment are combined with numerical model simulations to investigate the relative contributions of surface current forcing. A tidal decomposition of the relevant datasets was applied by fitting the flow profile to a finite set of sinusoids at specific frequencies related to astronomical parameters. The resultant time-series pair comprised tidal harmonic constituents and residuals composed of primarily wind-driven surface flows. Complex correlation coefficients between these data and both numerical simulations and winds were used to further investigate both bay dynamics and numerical model performance. Results of analysis demonstrate good agreement between HFR and model data, particularly for tidal harmonics. Analysis of wind driven surface currents illustrate the complex nature of flow dynamics and the many factors requiring consideration. © 2012 IEEE.