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Latest from Mike Buresh

  • Saturday will largely uneventful for Jacksonville -- unseasonably warm and and breezy -- but Sunday promises to be another story.    Be wary for the potential for severe storms -- including tornadoes -- especially in the areas north of west of Jacksonville. Southeast Georgia needs to be on alert for severe storms by late Saturday and into Sunday. On Sunday, a squall line of severe storms will develop near the Big Bend of Florida in the morning and move rapidly northeast into and across all of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. There is a high likelihood of damaging winds along with isolated tornadoes, but they will be gone by 6 p.m. Hurricane Matthew weakened a lot of trees, so branches and trees might come down more easily. There will be strong winds even without any thunderstorms, which could cause more tree damage and downed power lines. Be prepared for fast-changing conditions. There is a fine line late Saturday between nothing at all vs. very severe storms.  A similar storm has already caused multiple deaths in Mississippi. 
  • The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will be remembered in NE Florida for the damage that Matthew left behind. But our area saw impacts from Colin, Julia, and Hermine.  Matthew was the costliest storm in NE Florida, and up the coast into the Carolinas. Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says, despite our close brush with disaster, many people living inland may grow complacent because they didn't see any damage. DOWNLOAD THE HURRICANE SEASON RECAP PODCAST  Hermine ended Florida’s 11-year hurricane-free streak when it made landfall in the Big Bend in September.   Tropical Storm Colin spun up a tornado on Jacksonville's westside in June.  The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will go down as one of the longest on record.  Hurricane Alex formed in January deep in the north Atlantic Ocean.  Hurricane Otto in late November became the latest storm ever to form in the Caribbean.
  • An isolated microburst on Jacksonville's westside brought down trees around 103rd and I-295 Wednesday.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says winds were estimated at up to 60 mph.  He says hail reports approaching 1'' in diameter was also reported in Wednesday's storms.  Lightning caused a few small fires, too.  Buresh says we could be in for another stormy afternoon Thursday.  'That sea breeze will once again trigger some locally heavy afternoon storms. They'll be mostly inland, they will be hit and miss, but they'll be slow movers and where they hit, they hit hard', said Buresh.  LISTEN TO MIKE'S DAILY DISCUSSION PODCAST FOR INDEPTH WEATHER COVERAGE A lightning strike caused a garage to catch fire at a home north of Collins Road, Duval County Emergency Management reported. As many as 2,250 JEA customers were without power after heavy rain and hail hit. JEA said a tree was down on Shindler Drive and the utility fixed outages on the Westside.  The National Weather Service reported a tree fell on a house on Firestone Road and another tree reportedly fell near Herlong Airport.
  • Florida's ten year hurricane drought has brought a relative lack of concern, and that could lead to complacency. A poll by Mason-Dixon finds 60% of Floridians feel the state will once again avoid a major storm this season, and don't feel vulnerable to the damage one court cause. And nearly one in three people say they will not evacuate in the face of a Category 1 storm.  Among younger residents 18-34, only 28% think there is at least some chance for a hurricane, and 67% don't believe there is.  Among those 65+, a majority (51%) do feel a storm could develop and only 42% are doubtful.  Listen to Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh react to the poll results, and look ahead to what's currently brewing in the tropics.  
  • The WOKV Severe Weather Center worked through the night to update severe storms in NE Florida.  For many it may have been another rude awakening with loud claps of thunder, lots of bright lightning, and several inches of rain.  The National Weather Service in Jacksonville says rainfall estimates show between two and three inches of rain fell from central Clay County into Orange Park, downtown Jacksonville and to the northside of Jacksonville.  Now the focus is on cleanup, with debris scattered across lawns, and power is restored.  Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says the stormy pattern continues today, and actually picks up in intensity through the week. 'Frequent thunderstorms late into the week, into the weekend and next week that will dump a lot of rain on most areas', said Buresh.   And that, Mike says, should really help extinguish the 40 wildfires burning across our area.
  • Heavy rain has cleared out making way for a cooler Thanksgiving weekend. The threat for significant flooding has ended. Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says the Jacksonville International Airport broke the daily record rain of 1.45' for Nov. 25th with 1.61'.  Fleming Island recorded 2.36' and Green Cove Springs saw 2.15'. Buresh says clearing skies, breezy north winds and much cooler temperatures will follow by Wednesday afternoon but with highs only in the upper 50s to low 60s. Thanksgiving Day looks pretty nice but chilly to start.  Early morning temperatures in the 30s to low 40s will reach the lower 60s under sunny skies in the afternoon with a brisk north wind.
  • There were no tornado touchdowns reported and no  injuries from a strong storm front that moved through NE Florida Monday. We are still gathering damage reports, but so far we know of strong winds that blew down trees and damaged cars and porches, though at least one structure in Baker county sustained heavy wind damage and a mobile home was also damaged when a tree feel across it.  Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh we'll now see clear skies and plunging temperatures. Tuesday will be sunny and chilly with morning lows near 40 degrees and high temperatures only in the mid 50's.The coolest morning since last winter is expected Wednesday morning with a hard freeze expected with record-setting lows in the upper 20's. The record low temperature for Wednesday is 32 degrees (2008).Mike Buresh says it will be the first freeze at JIA since February 14th & for inland areas north and west of Jacksonville since February 28th.
  • It's feeling kind of raw Thursday morning with low wind chills and temps that will struggle to reach 50 in the afternoon.  Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says unlike some of the recent glancing blows, we're in a pattern of cold that lasts into next week.  'Friday morning's lows will be dipping into the upper 20's and low 30's mainly to the west of I-95.  Saturday will be a little bit cooler, and then Sunday morning stays above freezing at the beaches but colder inland'.  Afternoons this weekend will be below the January average. Hear Mike Buresh describe the conditions through the weekend and into early next week here. 
  • We're in for an unseasonably warm weekend.   Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we could reach all-time December high temps on Sunday. We'll be sunny on Saturday and Sunday.  If you're going to the final Jaguars home game of the season it's going to be really toasty.  Mike is tracking a cold front for Monday which will bring some rain by the afternoon.  If you're traveling ahead of Christmas, nasty weather from Texas to Michigan could affect travel by car and plane. Listen to the weekend and five-day forecast from Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh here.
  • Mike Buresh

    Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh anchors the 5,6, and 11 p.m. newscasts on WJAX-TV and the 10 p.m. newscast on WFOX-TV and can be heard daily on News 104.5 WOKV.

    Buresh is a self-professed "weather holic" and his  fascination with weather developed at a very young age while growing up in rural Iowa.  As  early as the second grade, Mike's mom says he was drawing weather maps and "always looking at the sky."

    Mike's passion for weather continues to this day as Mike eats, drinks, breathes and - yes - sleeps weather.  Or as he likes to call it: "All the Weather, All the Time!"

    Mike graduated from Iowa State University in 1987 but began his college studies at Oklahoma University where he became an experienced "storm chaser" in addition to working at the National Weather Service.

    Shortly after graduating, Mike earned the American Meteorological Society's "Seal of Approval" and has also achieved his Certification for Broadcast Meteorologist which certifies that Mike meets specific educational and experience criteria and has passed rigorous testing in his knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist.

    Buresh began his television meteorology career at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa and most recently at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio before coming to the First Coast. Mike has calmly, effectively and accurately warned, tracked and informed viewers about tornadoes, waterspouts, floods and many local tropical cyclones including Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Fay, Beryl, Debby and Andrea to name just a few.

    Jacksonville's Most Accurate Weather 

    Mike and his First Alert forecast have been rated as the "Most Accurate" in the Jacksonville television market according to the independent service "WeatheRate". 

    If you would like the most accurate Chief Meteorologist to visit your school, club or civic organization,  E-mail Mike » . Mike is also an active member of the Jacksonville Salvation Army Advisory Board.

    He has traveled extensively including trips to Australia, Asia, Central and South America, Galapagos Islands and twice to Africa.

    When Mike isn't forecasting your weather he enjoys golf, basketball, football, swimming, water skiing, the beach, reading, community outreach and, most of all, spending time with his lovely wife, daughters and "best friend", Opie, the dog.

    Mike is an avid writer and has a large following in the blog-o-sphere --  "Buresh Blog"  and  "Talking the Tropics With Mike" (hurricane season June 1st-Nov. 30th).

    Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • Police in Jacksonville Beach are investigating after more than a dozen cars were broken into over the course of a few days. It started last weekend along 5th Street South where several of those burglaries took place.  Police reports said there were 14 burglaries that happened Saturday through Monday.  Joseph Rennie said he’s hoping this weekend they don’t see a repeat.  “All in all, this is a pretty safe neighborhood. But occasionally, you have things like this happen and come up, but it’s definitely a little bit unnerving,” Rennie said.  Police said someone was going around smashing out windows of vehicles and looking for valuables inside. Wallets, credit and debit cards were taken.  Some people had nothing taken, but were left with a broken window. It happened to 6 cars on 5th Street, 4 cars on 12th, and several others on the surrounding blocks.  Rennie, like many others who live in the area, said he’s thankful he wasn’t a victim, but was surprised it happened to so many people in the area.  “There is a sense of just making sure you’re being smart about it, not leaving stuff of value in your car, kind of anywhere. But yeah, its really unfortunate to see that that’s happened, especially around the holiday season,” Rennie said.  As always, police are urging people not to leave valuables in their cars.
  • Florida, along with 29 other states, has been accepted for membership into the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), according to Governor Ron DeSantis' office. ERIC is a multi-state partnership that uses a data-matching tool to help enhance election security and make voter rolls more accurate.  The governor's office says through ERIC, member states can share information from voter registration systems, motor vehicle databases, social security death records, and US Post Office records, to help identify voters who have moved, passed away, or changed their name.  Additionally, the governor's office says ERIC will help boost voter registration as it will provide member states better information on how to contact potentially eligible, but unregistered voters.  Governor DeSantis says he has set aside an estimated $1.3 million in his 2020-2021 recommend budget to conduct outreach to these unregistered voters with a direct mailer prior to the 2020 general election.  But the governor's office says Florida's full participation in ERIC will be contingent on the state legislature signing off on his budget. Being a member of ERIC requires annual dues of around $75,000.
  • In response to a smash-and-grab burglary at a Fernandina Beach gun store where thieves stole 57 guns in 60 seconds, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation announced a reward of up to $5,000 for tips leading to the arrest of suspects or recovery of stolen guns. The burglary happened Sunday, Dec. 8 at TNT Firearms and Accessories off State Road 200 in Nassau County.  Security footage shows 3 suspects smash through a glass door before breaking glass display cases and ransacking the store of 57 rifles and handguns.  The ATF is offering a reward of up to $2,500, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total of up to $5,000.  The ATF and NSSF are working together in a national campaign to fund rewards in cases involving guns being stolen from federally licensed dealers.
  • A Virginia mother is wanted on abduction charges after authorities say she took her four children on vacation six months ago and never brought them home. The woman alleges she is saving the children from sex trafficking by their father and grandfather. Along with four misdemeanor abduction charges, Melody Bannister, 34, of Stafford, is charged with felony violation of a court order and filing a false police report, a news release from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said. A warrant was issued for her arrest Aug. 23, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Her children are identified as Genevieve Bannister, 13; Janelle Bannister, 12; Vivienne Bannister, 11; and Peter Bannister, 7. Genevieve is described as 5 feet, 3 inches tall and 110 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes, according to the NCMEC. Janelle is described as 5 feet, 1 inch tall and 115 pounds. Like her older sister, she has brown hair and hazel eyes. Vivienne is listed as 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing 95 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. Peter is described as 4 feet, 1 inch tall and 90 pounds. He also brown hair and blue eyes. Bannister is described as 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 110 pounds. Like her two youngest children, she has brown hair and blue eyes. The children and their mother were last known to be traveling in a blue-green 2002 Honda Odyssey with Virginia license plate number VBH7123, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Detective James Wright said during a segment about the case on “Live PD” on A&E. Finding Bannister and the children has become more urgent after “recent developments in the investigation have led investigators to believe the children may now be in danger,” the Sheriff’s Office’s statement said. Wright, who is lead investigator on the case, said on “Live PD” that authorities believe the missing family might be in danger due to the “clandestine nature” of the religious organization they belong to. “We’re concerned about the welfare because they are unable to take care of themselves. They don’t have any means to take care of them. Melody doesn’t have means to take care of them,” Wright told host Tom Morris Jr. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Amanda Vicinanzo said investigators believe Bannister has had help along the way from members of a religious group of which she is purportedly a member, according to the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg. The newspaper reported that the family’s pets, a white Great Pyrenees dog and white ragdoll cat, were left at one of the stops Bannister has made since leaving Virginia. “After months on the road, we had to say goodbye to our beloved pets: Our giant, bounding bundle of puppy-faced joy and our fluffy cat, whose soothing whirr often assuaged our soreness of heart,” Bannister wrote on her blog. “It is a comfort to know they are in good, loving hands, since they can no longer be in ours.” “Live PD” pointed out that Bannister has written about her religion previously, describing it as a “cult.” According to a blog she began in 2016 called Lady Adelaide’s Realm, Bannister grew up in a Quiverfull household. Followers of the Quiverfull movement believe that the men with the most children will earn the most favor from God. They shun all forms of contraception, believing that it is only God who “opens and closes the womb,” follower Kelly Swanson told NPR in 2009. The movement advocates stringent gender roles, and women are not allowed to question their husbands’ authority. They cannot work outside the home, wear pants or cut their hair. According to some of Bannister’s friends -- and a second blog the missing woman appears to have written since going on the run with her children -- the danger toward the children lies not with their mother, but in their father’s home. Bannister’s blog devoted to the allegations is subtitled “American Outlaws: The Plight of Child Sex Trafficking Victims Living Underground.” Her most recent blog post on Lady Adelaide’s Realm, dated June 28, names six men, including her father-in-law, as her children’s alleged abusers. The men are not being named because they have not been charged with a crime. ‘Will justice triumph over lawlessness this Christmas?’ A Change.org petition begging for help from Virginia and Alabama officials claims that the children’s father “conspired with (Bannister’s) father-in-law to perpetuate some of the most horrifying sexual and physical abuse imaginable upon her children.” “When local law enforcement failed to protect these children, ordering them back to live with their abuser, Melody chose to live on the wrong side of the law. What else could a truly desperate mother do?” the petition reads. Bannister has accused her husband of “deliver(ing) the children up for torture to the barn of his father.” She has accused her father-in-law of not only sexually abusing the children, but of offering them up for abuse by his friends. “The children have spoken of being given strange substances in the barn that made the world swim before their eyes and caused the taunting faces of their abusers to converge together in a dizzying blur,” Bannister wrote. She wrote on the blog that her only crimes were “believing (her) children when they disclosed a lifetime of ongoing abuse” and “reporting (it) to the Stafford, Virginia, police.” Stafford County officials said that an investigation into the allegations brought to them by Bannister in June found no evidence of abuse against the children. “A joint investigation with Stafford County law enforcement and Child Protective Services determined the allegations were unfounded,” according to the statement from the Sheriff’s Office. “Shortly after the conclusion of the investigation, Bannister left Virginia with the children on a planned vacation and never returned.” Bannister wrote on her blog that she and the children left town for a vacation June 14, the day after she reported the abuse, in part out of fear of reprisal from the accused. She said she called the Sheriff’s Office detective, Wright, a few days later to check up on the investigation. “We spoke briefly once, when he told me that he had interviewed my husband and would soon interview my father-in-law,” Bannister wrote. “After that, he stopped answering my phone calls.” She wrote that Wright and a CPS caseworker chalked the sex abuse claims up to children’s “vivid imaginations.” She described fleeing Virginia with the “rancid hot breath of child predators” on her back. “We left home with barely a week’s worth of summer clothes and are practically penniless, living off the kindness of friends who, one by one, have taken us under their wings,” Bannister wrote. She said her husband drained their joint bank account and cancelled her credit cards when she did not bring the children back to Virginia. Read Bannister’s entire, five-part blog here. Warning: It includes graphic details of alleged child sex abuse. Stafford County’s Juvenile, Domestic and Relations Court granted sole custody of the children to their father the following month, Stafford County authorities said. Their father, identified in court records as William Joseph Bannister, filed for divorce last month. “(Melody) Bannister refused to return the children and subsequently petitioned the courts in Alabama requesting custody be issued to her there,” a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said. “The courts in Alabama heard the case and also ordered Bannister to return her children to their father back in Virginia. “Bannister absconded from the state of Alabama with her four children and has not been seen since.” Bannister and the children were last seen Aug. 20 in Moulton, a small city in northwest Alabama. “We set up residence in Alabama and made it our new home, where we obtained a protective order against the man formerly known as Daddy,” Bannister wrote on her blog. “This was swiftly snatched away when the judge deferred to the Virginia ruling, which ordered me to return the children to him.” Bannister wrote that a family court hearing was held in Virginia without her presence Aug. 19, with a judge ruling in her husband’s favor. She claimed she was never served with a summons for the hearing. She and the children vanished from Alabama the next day. US marshals issue alert Aside from Alabama, potential sightings of the family have been reported in Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas. The U.S. Marshals Service and the NCMEC have been involved in the case over the past few months, the Sheriff’s Office said. The Marshals Service issued an alert this week seeking help from the public in finding Bannister and the missing children. A friend of Bannister, Julie Lampkins, shared a story on Facebook about the missing family, saying it was “with a heavy heart” that she shared the link about the mother’s alleged abduction of her children. “We all have questions, but no answers,” Lampkins wrote. “Help the authorities find her and her (four) kids.” Meanwhile, Bannister is appealing for help on the state and federal levels, according to the Change.org petition. It quoted additional portions of Bannister’s blog. “The mental health and credibility of my children and me have been assessed and verified by two of the most prestigious forensic psychiatrists in the country: Dr. Michael Stone and Dr. Carole Lieberman,” Bannister wrote on her blog. “Naturally, the abusers did not take kindly to such a development and are seeking to have the reports stricken from the record. ‘Eliminate all threats’ seems to be their motto. Hence our position of living underground.” Followers on her blog wrote this week that they believed her and her children. “Many people believe you and are praying and sharing the news and asking God to vindicate and protect. Praying that true justice will be served,” Carrie Brownell wrote. A friend, identified as Lana, told Bannister she was praying for her, as well as sharing her story and contacting a list of law enforcement officers listed on the blog on Bannister’s behalf. Another friend named Rachael offered similar well wishes. “Oh Melody…my heart is so broken for you and your sweet kids,” the woman wrote. “I will be keeping you in my prayers and doing what I can. Locally.” A third friend named Petra Carden wrote that Bannister and her children have a place in her home “any time, day or night, no questions asked” if Bannister has to return to Virginia. Others who read her story offered her help in other locations throughout the country, including Alabama, where she and the children were last seen. Many people who believe Bannister’s allegations of abuse urged caution in reporting the family’s whereabouts. “If the news articles released regarding Melody Bannister’s children being in danger is all people know, they will report them when they see them and put them back in danger,” one woman wrote on Twitter. A cult? Bannister’s Facebook profile lists her as manager of a website called Recovering Daughters. The description of the site on its corresponding Facebook page states it is about “healing from Vision Forum, authoritarianism and the Quiverfull Movement.” The Recovering Daughters website is no longer available because the domain has recently expired. Vision Forum was a Texas-based ministry that promoted a patriarchal lifestyle, in which the husband rules the family, and home-schooling its children. The ministry was shut down by its board in 2013 after leader Doug Phillips admitted to an extramarital affair, the Huffington Post reported. Phillips has been a friend of and influence on Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” focused on their beliefs against birth control and that large families are a gift from God, the news site said. The Duggars, who lost their show after their eldest son, Josh Duggar, was publicly accused of sexually molesting multiple young girls, including some of his sisters, have also been associated with the Quiverfull movement, though the Huffington Post reported in 2015 that the couple does not formally consider themselves members of the movement. The Quiverfull movement gets its name from a Bible passage: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Hännah Ettinger, a young woman raised in the movement who had left that world behind, told Cosmopolitan in 2015 that her first big break from the religion came when her father told her she “didn’t have the spiritual discernment” to choose her own boyfriend, a man she met at her Christian college. “Later, I got utterly fed up with the churches I’d grown up in because I kept finding out that they’d protected child abusers, rapists, and men who’d beaten their wives, all in the name of redemption stories, ‘biblical’ male headship and complementarian theology,” Ettinger told the magazine. Vyckie Garrison, another former Quiverfull member, told Vice in 2016 that, with no central leader, the movement isn’t a cult, per se. It’s more of a mindset “in which each family becomes a cult unto itself with Daddy enshrined as the supreme patriarch,” Vice reported. Garrison founded a website called No Longer Quivering, which is designed to help other women in her situation escape the movement. In April 2015, the American Atheists Convention named her its 2014 Atheist of the Year. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Bannister and her children is asked to call the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400, the U.S. Marshals Service at 877-WANTED2 or the NCMEC at 800-THE-LOST.
  • Money is helping put local veterans in Northeast Florida back to work. Hundreds of people filled the inside of a warehouse at a former Navy base to celebrate a milestone.  It was 20 years ago when the U.S. Navy handed over ownership of Cecil Field Naval Air Station to the city of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.  The air station is now being operated by Boeing Global Services.  Friday, Boeing made a $55,000 check presentation to Veterans Florida to help put local veterans back to work.  Samuel Leeca is a Navy veteran and was one of the first people hired by Boeing back in 1999.  “We first only had one aircraft. Then they started filtering in. It was rough at first, but then we started to get it rolling,” said Samuel Leeca.  “When I see the Blue Angels, I don’t even bother anymore because I was sharing with someone that all 6 of them, I’ve physically touched them. I’ve physically put the cell in and taken it out,” Leeca explained.  Boeing Cecil Field site leader Warren Helm says the site is one of the most successful closed bases in the country.  “We have a great mix about 70% veterans on this site. It’s a great mix between people who have been here since day one,” Helm said.  Leeca says after working here for over 20 years, he heads a team of mostly young people who disassemble and repair aircraft.  “I just look at it as, not so much someone has to do it, but someone always did it. We live in a world now where it is so dangerous, I said, ‘I can’t leave them, I have to keep going to help the newer guys keep the jets flying,’” said Leeca.

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