The Fire and Ice weather forecast is probably more important than for most festivals, so what's it going to be like?

The main attraction of the Durham Fire and Ice Festival is the ice sculptures, carefully created by ice-carving experts, and so the weather plays a very important role.

Too much sun or rain and the ice sculptures - so meticulously transported in specially refrigerated vans from Glacial Arts' warehouse in Liverpool - will quickly deteriorate. Get there much after the Durham Fire and Ice start time and there won't be much left to see.

But another, less obvious, weather factor that could affect Durham Fire and Ice is the wind; windy conditions can actually damage the Fire and Ice sculptures quicker than sun or rain. And while the ice sculptures will still be worth seeing, a generic outline of your favourite characters is not the same as when you can see every last detail carved into the ice.

Read next: Everything you need to know about Durham Fire and Ice

So what's the Fire and Ice Durham weather forecast for 2020?

Well, it's a mixture (isn't it always?). According to BBC Weather, on Friday February 21 the chances of rain reach 71% by 2pm, and the temperature is higher than we've been experiencing - getting up to 9°C in the early afternoon then 10°C later. The main problem is the wind, which could potentially be up to 50mph. On Saturday there's less chance of rain (still reaching 37% by midday) but the winds will continue and could reach a gale force 46mph. Temperatures will reach 7°C.

Is it going to be sunny?

Friday morning looks like rain and cloudy, but with some intervals between 1pm and 5pm. Saturday will be the same with rain until 3pm, when it's just cloud and some intervals. Not so great for the Fire and Ice sculptures or for us visitors.

Read next: Find more events to look forward to in our Durham events guide

How hot will Durham's weather get over the two days?

The Durham Fire and Ice weather will start at about 7°C on Friday morning but will get up to 10°C on Friday afternoon after about 4pm. Saturday February 22 will start at around 7°C and then drop to 4°C by late evening.

And how about the wind?

Expect strong winds on both days, although Saturday evening could be calmer.

So when am I best off going to Durham Fire and Ice?

As usual, the earlier you go the better. The weather doesn't look kind this year, with high winds and a decent chance of rain, so there's no ideal window we can identify. Our advice would be to go nice and early before the sculptures suffer the effects.