Synoptic forcing of the Gulf of California summertime low-level wind field is described using a nested regional modeling system. Under appropriate synoptic conditions, strong surge events develop that are characterized by persistent, vertically extensive (1–2 km) southerly flow extending along the entire Gulf of California and into Arizona, California, and even southern Nevada. These surge periods are initiated either by tropical-cyclone activity to the south of Baja California or by the westward propagation of lower tropospheric troughs from over the Sierra Madre Occidental to the eastern Pacific. The flow over the Gulf is primarily geostrophic and is associated with the presence of these low-pressure centers to the south and west of Baja California.