The season's first widespread snowfall caused cars to slide off roadways and led maintenance crews to close ice-coated mountain paths through the afternoon and evening Saturday.
On-off snow and winds hit the mountain ridge west of Altoona particularly hard, with emergency workers closing parts of Buckhorn and Juniata Gap roads after a series of minor car crashes.
"Several vehicles ... slid off the roadway," a dispatcher said before nightfall.
Calls ranging from the Altoona outskirts to the Cresson summit included references to ice-coated surfaces and dangers to first responders, though dispatchers reported no serious injuries as of Saturday evening.
"Blair [County] has a handful of trucks out," PennDOT spokeswoman Tara Callahan-Henry said, referring to the salt trucks that fanned out across the Laurel Highlands as conditions deteriorated Saturday afternoon.
To the south, workers temporarily closed Cove Mountain Road and declared Bedford County's Shaffer Mountain Road impassable.
Dispatchers reported a car flipped along Cove Mountain Road near Martinsburg, with reports indicating the driver and passenger were temporarily trapped in the vehicle.
Bedford County emergency workers said that, "fingers crossed," there were no crashes reported in the county as of 7 p.m.
Regardless, it was a busy night for police and firefighters throughout the region; at one point, outside departments were summoned to an alleged mall theft while Logan Township police remained tied up with weather effects.
By nightfall, PennDOT monitors cruised mountain paths to report renewed ice as fire police inspected Buckhorn Road on four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Despite the windy conditions and blowing snowfall, there was little accumulation outside high mountains - and there probably won't be for some time, forecasters said Saturday night.
The recent cold-weather bands, which passed from Lake Erie and left up to a few inches' snowfall in northern Pennsylvania, will leave the area today, National Weather Service Meteorologist David Martin said.
While Saturday's snowfall was the fall's first for many in low-lying parts of central Pennsylvania, Callahan-Henry noted that some have already seen far worse.
When Hurricane Sandy passed through the Laurel Highlands last month, she said, some in the mountains got as much as 7 inches.
"And compared with last year, this is late" for a first snowfall, she said. "I'll take November."
Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.