Gridded meteorological products are generated with different spatial/data and methods, and it will be sensitive to different regions for hydrological models. Therefore variables including temperature and precipitation should be evaluated before applying them in studies. To improve knowledge of this matter, the potential of two reanalysis products (RPs) including the China Meteorological Assimilation Driving Datasets for the SWAT model (CMADS) and Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) is for the first time compared with the ground-based meteorological data in 5 years from 2008 to 2013 over Cau river basin (CRB), Northern of Vietnam. The statistical indicators, and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model are employed to investigates the hydrological performance of the RPs against the 13 rain gauges placed across the CRB. The result showed that there is a strong correlation of the temperature reanalysis in both CMADS and CFSR with ground-observed (correlation coefficient-CC is from 0.92 to 0.97). The division indicated clearly when CFSR data overestimated precipitation (about 88%) at both daily and monthly scales, whereas a slight variation of CMADS product was found in the high terrain. The flow simulation results also show that the performance of CMADS-SWAT is more accurate than CFSR-SWAT on the monthly scale (with value R2 = 0.86 and NSE = 0.75). The assessment of the potential of RPs especially CMADS will further provide an additional quick alternative for water resource research and management in basins with similar hydro-meteorological conditions.
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