Accurate, fast forecasting of hydro-meteorological time series is presently a major challenge in drought and flood mitigation. This paper proposes a hybrid approach, wavelet de-noising (WD) and Rank-Set Pair Analysis (RSPA), that takes full advantage of a combination of the two approaches to improve forecasts of hydro-meteorological time series. WD allows decomposition and reconstruction of a time series by the wavelet transform, and hence separation of the noise from the original series. RSPA, a more reliable and efficient version of Set Pair Analysis, is integrated with WD to form the hybrid WD-RSPA approach. Two types of hydro-meteorological data sets with different characteristics and different levels of human influences at some representative stations are used to illustrate the WD-RSPA approach. The approach is also compared to three other generic methods: the conventional Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) method, Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) (BP-error Back Propagation, MLP-Multilayer Perceptron and RBF-Radial Basis Function), and RSPA alone. Nine error metrics are used to evaluate the model performance. Compared to three other generic methods, the results generated by WD-REPA model presented invariably smaller error measures which means the forecasting capability of the WD-REPA model is better than other models. The results show that WD-RSPA is accurate, feasible, and effective. In particular, WD-RSPA is found to be the best among the various generic methods compared in this paper, even when the extreme events are included within a time series.