Britain's break from the chilly conditions appears to be over amid forecasts of cold temperatures and snow flurries.

The return of cold wind and snow is expected to be concentrated in the South East on Thursday, forecasters said.

But there will not be a repeat of the sub-zero conditions seen in December when the deep freeze caused travel disruption for millions of rail, road and air travellers.

Temperatures are forecast at between 1C (34F) and 4C (39F) for England and Wales, slightly below average for January, according to MeteoGroup, the Press Association's weather division.

Forecaster Gareth Harvey said: "There might be just a few snow flakes or grains but we are not expecting any accumulations.

"It could be seen anywhere across the country but it is due to be concentrated in the South East during the course of the day.

"We are not expecting any settling and most places are due to stay dry. We have got quite a lot of low cloud across parts of England and Wales."

Last month was one of the coldest months recorded in the UK, the Met Office said.

While globally 2010 was one of the warmest years on record, provisional figures show that in the UK it was the 12th coldest year in records dating back to 1910, with temperatures averaging just 8C over the year.

The average temperature for December was minus 1C, significantly colder than the long-term average of 4.2C and lower than the previous coldest December in 1981, when temperatures averaged 0.1C over the month.