Several models have been developed to estimate evapotranspiration. Among those, the complementary relationship has been the subject of many recent studies because it relies on meteorological data only. Recently, the modified Granger and Gray (GG) model showed its applicability across 34 diverse global sites. While the modified GG model showed better performances compared to the recently published studies, it can be improved for dry conditions and the relative evaporation parameter in the original GG model needs to be further investigated. This parameter was empirically derived from limited data from wet environments in Canada – a possible reason for decreasing performance with dry conditions. This study proposed a refined GG model to overcome the limitation using the Budyko framework and vegetation cover to describe relative evaporation. This study used 75 eddy covariance sites in the USA from AmeriFlux, representing 36 dry and 39 wet sites. The proposed model produced better results with decreasing monthly mean root mean square error of about 30% for dry sites and 15% for wet sites compared to the modified GG model. The proposed model in this study maintains the characteristics of the Budyko framework and the complementary relationship and produced improved evapotranspiration estimates under dry conditions.