A process-based model is compared with field measurements to test and improve our ability to predict nearshore morphological change at seasonal time scales. The field experiment, along the dissipative beaches adjacent to Grays Harbor, Washington USA, successfully captured the transition between the high-energy erosive conditions of winter and the low-energy beach-building conditions typical of summer. The experiment documented shoreline progradation on the order of 20 m and as much as 175 m of onshore bar migration. Significant alongshore variability was observed in the morphological response of the sandbars over a 4 km reach of coast. A detailed sensitivity analysis suggests that the model results are more sensitive to adjusting the sediment transport associated with asymmetric oscillatory wave motions than to adjusting the transport due to mean currents. Initial results suggest that alongshore variations in the initial bathymetry are partially responsible for the observed alongshore variable morphological response during the experiment. Copyright ASCE 2006.