Arrays with null entries?

I am new to NetCDF format, so please bear with me...
When I currently instantiate an array it
zeros out all entries, is there a way to avoid that? I don't see
anything in the javadocs that allows me to do this.
When I write out the array to a file, what I'd like to see in the output
file when I invoke ncdump is entries like _, _, _, ...  where there is
no data.
Thanx
gaby

-- 
***************************************************************
**     Gabriella Turek               g.turek@xxxxxxxxxx      **
** National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) **
** PO Box 8602 Christchurch New Zealand +64-3-348-8987x3724  **
***************************************************************

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