priori tests of subgrid-scale (SGS) models for large-eddy simulations (LES). The experimental arrangements and data collected have facilitated studies of variables such as the filtered strain rate, SGS stress and dissipation, and the eddy viscosity coefficient. However, the experimental set-ups did not permit analysis of the divergence of the SGS stress (the SGS force vector), which is the term that enters directly in the LES momentum balance equations. Data from a field experiment (SGS2002) in the west desert of Utah, allows the calculation of the SGS force due to the unique 4 × 4 sonic anemometer array. The vector alignment of the SGS force is investigated under a range of atmospheric stabilities. The eddy viscosity model is likely aligned with the measured SGS force under near-neutral and unstable conditions, while its performance is unsatisfactory under stable conditions.