Jonathan,

Missing/fill values are not allowed, but I don't see any language prohibiting flags. I'd appreciate it if you could expand on your thoughts about why they aren't allowed.

Grace and peace,

Jim
On 10/12/16 1:30 PM, Jonathan Gregory wrote:
Dear Jim

That is an ingenious idea. I don't think the flag atts are currently allowed
for coord variables, but they could be, I agree.

Best wishes

Jonathan

----- Forwarded message from Jim Biard <jbi...@cicsnc.org> -----

Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:39:56 -0400
From: Jim Biard <jbi...@cicsnc.org>
To: cf-metadata@cgd.ucar.edu
Subject: Re: [CF-metadata] Missing data bins in histograms
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.11; rv:45.0)
        Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.4.0

Hi.

Another approach could be to use flag_values and flag_meanings on
the coordinate variable to indicate one or more special coordinate
values that correspond to any number of "missing data" or "out of
bounds" bins. These attributes aren't forbidden by CF, and
everything should be fine as long as the coordinate variable remains
monotonic.

Grace and peace,

Jim

On 10/11/16 8:41 AM, martin.juc...@stfc.ac.uk wrote:
Hello,

the CF standard name list has two "histogram_.... " entries, and in the CMIP6 data 
request we may need to add a third, a histogram_of_cloud_top_height. Besides the standard name, we 
also need, for this new variable, a method of encoding the "missing data" bin in the 
histogram. That is, the histogram should record frequency in 16 data bins and one additional bin 
for the frequency of missing data.

Can we define a "missing_data_index" attribute for histogram variables, and use 
this to indicate that the first bin in the array has this special purpose. It might be 
more pythonic to put the _FillValue in the coordinate value for the missing data bin, but 
I suspect that this would cause substantial problems for many software packages.

regards,
Martin
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