Availability of reliable meteorological data for watershed modeling is one of the considerable challenges in the Awash River Basin in Ethiopia. To overcome this challenge, the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) global weather data was evaluated and compared with the limited conventional weather data available in the Upper Awash Basin. The main objective of this study was to search for an optional data source for hydrological modeling, instead of using the limited available data, and for data-scarce areas of the basin. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool model was used to compare the performance of the two weather datasets at simulating monthly streamflow. For calibration, validation, and uncertainty analysis, the sequential uncertainty fitting algorithm was used. The model evaluation statistics showed that the CFSR global weather data performed similarly to the conventional weather data for simulating the observed streamflow at Melka Kunture. At Keleta, where the conventional data is scarce, the CFSR performed better. The CFSR performance at the two sub-basins indicated that it performed better for the large sub-basin, Melka Kunture. Generally, the CFSR weather data are a good addition to the dataset for areas where no reliable weather data exists for hydrological modeling in the basin. The precipitation data of the CFSR are slightly higher than that of the conventional data, which also resulted in a relatively higher water balance components.
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