netCDF file on GDS

Jennifer Adams jma at COLA.IGES.ORG
Fri Jan 14 07:03:31 EST 2005

On Jan 14, 2005, at 6:22 AM, benb wrote:

> Hello All,
> I just put some NetCDF files on my GDS and had a problem with one file.
> A variable called:
> 2m_temperature
> was flagged.  I assume this is because it starts with a number.  Are
> variabl
> es that start with numbers forbidden by GDS?
Forbidden by GrADS. GDS allows data sets (but not data variables) that
begin with numbers.

>  Are numbers inside of the vari
> able name, and underbar "_" characters allowed?
Numbers yes, non alphanumeric characters, no.

>  Is there a list of what is
> forbidden in variable names?
Yes, it's in the documenation under descriptorfile.html:
"it must be less than 16 characters, start with an alphabetic
character, and cannot contain any upper case letters or
non-alpha-numeric characters."

> Also, some of the variables names in the netCDF file were long, such
> as temp
> erature_tendancy.  The GDS appeared to truncate variable names at 15
> charact
> ers, so in the .info display of the characters I saw:
> temperature_ten
> Am I right that variable names are truncated at 15 characters.  Also,
> is the
>  truncated name used for accessing the variable, or the full name
> (i.e. temp
> erature_ten or temperature_tendancy)?
Write a descriptor file and use aliasing to get the variable name you
You can use this syntax with xdfopen or dtype netcdf.

> Finally, this variable is listed in the netCDF file as:
> temperature_tendancy     tendancy of temperature
> Does the GDS limit the length of the text (e.g. tendancy of
> temperature) tha
> t it will handle?
If I'm not mistaken, the limit for the variable long name is 128

Also, for accuracy's sake,  tendancy is spelled "tendency".


Jennifer M. Adams
4041 Powder Mill Rd., Suite 302
Calverton, MD 20705
jma at

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