Billboard collapsed in Netanya due to storm
Billboard collapsed in Netanya due to stormChen Leopold/Flash 90

While the Tel Aviv area is unlikely to see snow during the current winter storm – although forecasters aren't sure that this will be the case at all – ice is already becoming a major problem. On Wednesday afternoon, a major hail storm swept through the Tel Aviv and Sharon regions, with fierce winds and large drops of ice falling for over a half hour.

The hail, combined with falling temperatures, have contributed to the closure of several major thoroughfares. So far, both Road 1, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, was closed in the area of the Latrun Junction, and Road 6, the Cross-Israel highway, was closed in the area of the Nachshonim Junction, near Petach Tikvah. Both areas are out of what forecasters usually consider to be ice and snow zones. Both roads are now open but traffic is very heavy.

With temperatures expected to dip to zero celsius or even lower in most of the center of the country overnight, it is likely that roads will be very icy in many parts of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Officials said that they would evaluate the situation through constant updates throughout the night, and were prepared to keep roads closed for as long as is needed in order to clean up the roads. Officials urged Israelis who had not done so by mid-afternoon Wednesday to head home early, as the temperatures were only going to go lower, increasing the likelihood of icy and usage roads.

In addition to the ice and hail, the storms that have passed through the Tel Aviv area have been characterized by thunder and lightning, and a bolt of lighting hit the antenna of the control tower at Ben Gurion Airport. Officials said that the tower was operating, but that travelers should expect flight delays.