Thomas E. Adler, meteorological technician for the National Weather Service western region headquarters in Salt Lake City, has been honored for outstanding management of vital weather observation programs.

A 24-year veteran of the Weather Service, Adler was presented the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal. A component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the service provides forecasts and warnings that affect the lives of most Americans.Adler, chief of the cooperative program branch, manages the cooperative data program for eight western states. The program consists of more than 2,400 observation sites and a mix of technology from small domestic weather stations to radio and satellite remote sensors.

During his first 10 years with the Weather Service, Adler received three outstanding performance appraisals and numerous awards for work at two locations. He was supervising meteorological technician in the San Diego Weather Service office, which Commerce Department officials say achieved consistently low error rates and excellent observations.

When Adler moved to the regional office in 1973, he quickly became known as an expert in upper-air techniques. Under his leadership upper-air minicomputers were implemented throughout the region, and he conducted personnel training at each of the region's 16 sites.

Adler is manager of the Mount St. Helens flood-warning network, and in the upper Colorado River Basin he helped implement more than 80 satellite data sites.

"Adler's list of awards reads like a textbook case of achievement. His performance and achievement during his . . . career with the Weather Service exemplify the Bronze Medal criteria for outstanding service over a long period of time," said E.W. Friday, National Weather Service director.