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trouble with netcdf (?) data



Hi everybody,
I have a little trouble reading a netcdf file. When I open the file, ferret
complains:

yes? use test.cdf
 *** NOTE: attribute truncated: "units" in netCDF variable: base_time
 Maximum characters:   24
 *** NOTE: attribute truncated: "units" in netCDF variable: time_offset
 Maximum characters:   24
 *** NOTE: too many values in attribute "missing_value" in netCDF file
variable: rh
more like this ..................
 *** Unknown error code:       500 ***
             Expected: platform Found: not a 1D variable
             Data set:


             Data file:
7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777
7777

That the attribute field for units is too long I understand. I'm a little
confused about the missing value, because ncdump seems to understand it
correctly. Maybe the format is nonsense anyway. I'm really unhappy about the
error though. Again, ncdump reads the file fine. 
I'm not sure what version of netcdf the file has been created with.
Any ideas greatly appreciated
Cheers
Joerg




ncdump says (up to first variable):

netcdf test {
dimensions:
        time = UNLIMITED ; // (144 currently)
        platform = 111 ;
        fldlen = 20 ;
variables:
        int base_time ;
                base_time:string = "20-Jul-96,0:00:00 GMT" ;
                base_time:long_name = "Base time in Epoch" ;
                base_time:units = "seconds since 1970-1-1 0:00:00 0:00" ;
        double time_offset(time) ;
                time_offset:long_name = "Time offset from base_time" ;
                time_offset:units = "seconds since 1996-07-20 00:00:00 0:00" ;
        float rh(time, platform) ;
                rh:long_name = "relative humidity at 1.5m" ;
                rh:units = "percent" ;
                rh:missing_value = "-99999." ;
                rh:sampling_time = "3 seconds" ;
                rh:sensor_type = "Vaisala HMP35C thermistor & sorption
sensor mo
unted on Coastal Climate radiation shield" ;
                rh:sensor_height = "1.5 m" ;
                rh:sensor_accuracy = "+/-3% for 90-100%, +/-2% for 0-90%" ;
                rh:valid_min = "0" ;
                rh:valid_max = "100" ;
                rh:sensor_resolution = "0.03%" ;
                rh:comment = "core parameter" ;

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


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