In this paper we focus on how fresh water and radiative fluxes over the tropical oceans change during ENSO warm and cold events and how these changes affect the tropical energy balance. At present, ENSO remains the most prominent known mode of natural variability at interannual time scales. Although great advances have been made in understanding this phenomenon and realizing prediction skill over the past decade, our ability to document the coupled water and energy changes observationally and to represent them in climate models seems far from settled (Soden, 2000 J Climate). Our analysis makes use a number of data bases, principally those derived from space-based measurements, to explore systematic changes in rainfall, evaporation, and surface and top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes. A reexamination of the Langley 8-Year Surface Radiation Budget data set reveals errors in the surface longwave emission due to use of biased SSTs. Subsequent correction allows subsequent use of this data set along with ERBE TOA fluxes to infer net atmospheric radiative heating. Further analysis of recent rainfall algorithms provides new estimates for precipitation variability in line with interannual evaporation changes inferred from the da Silva, Young, Levitus COADS analysis. The overall results from our analysis suggest an increase (decrease) of the hydrologic cycle during ENSO warm (cold) events at the rate of about 5 Wm-2 per K of SST change. This rate is slightly less than that which would be expected for constant relative humidity over the tropical oceans. Corresponding radiative fluxes seem systematically smaller resulting in a enhanced (suppressed) export of energy from the tropical ocean regions during warm (cold) SST events. Discussion of likely errors due to sampling and measurement strategies are discussed along with their impacts on our conclusions.