A new fully coupled meteorology-chemistry-aerosol model is used to simulate the urban-to regional-scale variations in trace gases, particulates, and aerosol direct radiative forcing in the vicinity of Houston over a 5 day summer period. Model performance is evaluated using a wide range of meteorological, chemistry, and particulate measurements obtained during the 2000 Texas Air Quality Study. The predicted trace gas and particulate distributions were qualitatively similar to the surface and aircraft measurements with considerable spatial variations resulting from urban, power plant, and industrial sources of primary pollutants. Sulfate, organic carbon, and other inorganics were the largest constituents of the predicted particulates. The predicted shortwave radiation was 30 to 40 W m(-2) closer to the observations when the aerosol optical properties were incorporated into the shortwave radiation scheme; however, the predicted hourly aerosol radiative forcing was still underestimated by 10 to 50 W m(-2). The predicted aerosol radiative forcing was larger over Houston and the industrial ship channel than over the rural areas, consistent with surface measurements. The differences between the observed and simulated aerosol radiative forcing resulted from transport errors, relative humidity errors in the upper convective boundary layer that affect aerosol water content, secondary organic aerosols that were not yet included in the model, and uncertainties in the primary particulate emission rates. The current model was run in a predictive mode and demonstrates the challenges of accurately simulating all of the meteorological, chemical, and aerosol parameters over urban to regional scales that can affect aerosol radiative forcing.