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time axes in ferret & netcdf

Hi everybody!
I have the following problem:
I have 6-hourly data for the period 1981-1989 with variing month lengths
but WITHOUT leap years. I.e. Jan is 31, Feb 28, Mar 31 .... days always.
So my first question is:
Does ferret know about leap years and can I switch this off?
So if I define my time axis from Jan 1 1981 6 hourly and try to access 
March 1st it should grab March 2nd...
The second question I have is how can I store the data reasonably in a netCDF
file with the proper time stamps?

Thanks everybody very much!

Jörg Kaduk                             phone:  +1 (650) 325 1521 ext 416
Carnegie Institution of Washington     fax:    +1 (650) 325 6857
Department of Plant Biology
260 Panama Street                         
Stanford, CA 94305                     e-mail: joerg@jasper.stanford.edu

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