The ocean's response to the 1982/83 EI Nino—Southern Oscillation event was the largest ever documented. In this paper we explore the effects of certain details of the observed zonal wind stress anomaly field upon the ocean's response using a linear, adiabatic, reduced gravity, analytical model. The increase in magnitude of the downwelling response over the composite of previous EI Nino events is attributed to the eastward translation of the observed westerly wind anomaly and the double peaked downwelling at the South American coast is attributed to the amplitude modulation of this anomaly. Effects of an easterly anomaly which appeared to the west of the dateline midway through the event are also considered.