Reads some meteorological file formats used by the Environment Canada (see reference 1). Since the agency does not publish the data formats, this function has to be adjusted every few years, when a user finds that the format has changed. Caution: as of March 2022, this function fails on some on Windows machines, for reasons that seem to be related to the handling of both file encoding and system encoding. Adjusting the encoding parameter of this function might help. If not, try reading the data with read.csv() and then using as.met() to create a met object.

  type = NULL,
  skip = NULL,
  encoding = "latin1",
  tz = getOption("oceTz"),
  debug = getOption("oceDebug")



a character string naming a file that holds met data.


if NULL, which is the default, then an attempt is made to infer the type from the file contents. If this fails, it will be necessary for the user to provide a value for the type argument. The permitted choices are: (a) "csv" or "csv1" for an old CSV format no longer provided as of October 2019, (b) "csv2" for a CSV format noticed on the Environment Canada website in October 2019 (but note that the paired metadata file is ignored), (c) "csv3" for a CSV format noticed on the Environment Canada website in January 2020, and (d) "xml2" for an XML format that was noticed on the Environment Canada website in October 2019.


integer giving the number of header lines that precede the data. This is ignored unless type is "csv" or "csv1", in which case a non-NULL value of skip is taken as the number of lines preceding the columnar data. Specifying skip is usually only needed if read.met() cannot find a line starting with "Date/Time" (or a similar string).


a character value that indicates the encoding to be used for this data file, if it is textual. The default value for most functions is "latin1", which seems to be suitable for files containing text written in English and French.


timezone assumed for time data. This defaults to getOption("oceTz"), which is very likely to be wrong. In a scientific context, where UTC is typically used for oceanographic measurement, it makes sense to set tz="UTC". Note that these data files do not contain timezone information, instead giving data in Local Standard Time (LST). Since LST differs from city to city, users must make corrections to the time, as shown in the “Examples”, which use data for Halifax Nova Scotia, where LST is UTC-4.


a flag that turns on debugging. Set to 1 to get a moderate amount of debugging information, or to 2 to get more.


A met object.


  1. Environment Canada website for Historical Climate Data

See also

Other things related to met data: [[,met-method, [[<-,met-method, as.met(), download.met(), met-class, met, plot,met-method, subset,met-method, summary,met-method


Dan Kelley