Understanding climate change and variability at an urban scale is essential for water resource management, land use planning, development of adaption plans, mitigation of air and water pollution. However, there are serious challenges to meet these goals due to unavailability of observed and/or simulated high resolution spatial and temporal climate data. The statistical downscaling of general circulation climate model, for instance, is usually driven by sparse observational data hindering the use of downscaled data to investigate urban scale climate variability and change in the past. Recently, these challenges are partly resolved by concerted international effort to produce global and high spatial resolution climate data. In this study, the 1 km2 high resolution NIMR-HadGEM2-AO simulations for future projections under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) scenarios and gridded observations provided by Worldclim data center are used to assess changes in rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature expected under the two scenarios over Addis Ababa city. The gridded 1 km2 observational data set for the base period (1950–2000) is compared to observation from a meteorological station in the city in order to assess its quality for use as a reference (baseline) data. The comparison revealed that the data set has a very good quality. The rainfall anomalies under RCPs scenarios are wet in the 2030s (2020–2039), 2050s (2040–2069) and 2080s (2070–2099). Both minimum and maximum temperature anomalies under RCPs are successively getting warmer during these periods. Thus, the projected changes under RCPs scenarios show a general increase in rainfall and temperatures with strong variabilities in rainfall during rainy season implying level of difficulty in water resource use and management as well as land use planning and management.