AbstractThe accuracy of frequency prediction is markedly affected by the nonlinearity and model degradation caused by multiple environmental conditions, which may hinder the prediction accuracy and detectability of damage. Therefore, this paper proposes a local correlation model (LCM) between multiorder bridge frequencies and multiple environmental factors for early warning of abnormal frequencies. First, partial least-squares analysis was conducted to extract several environmental principal components sensitive to modal frequencies. The most relevant local data set for each online environmental sample was selected according to similarity measurements based on Euclidean distance metrics. On this basis, more accurate environment–frequency relation models were formed using relatively simple local linear regression models. To filter out the residual environmental variability not suppressed by the LCM and to enlarge slightly abnormal frequency variation, a warning index (i.e., the weighted Mahalanobis distance) was defined using the residual subspatial reconstruction of principal component analysis. Finally, the validity of the proposed method was verified on a cable-stayed bridge. The results show that in contrast to conventional methods, the proposed LCM can accurately describe complicated frequency variations under changing environmental conditions by considering both the nonlinearity of environmental conditions and the time-varying properties of relation models. The detectability of frequency anomalies induced by sudden events can be effectively improved.