Monsoon rainfall in likely to remain normal in the remaining two months of the season, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said, setting the stage for a good kharif harvest and strong rural demand. Rainfall in the four-month season since June 1 has been normal in most parts of the country, barring the southern states. It has been normal or excessive in the key crop-growing states in northern and western India although the past 10 days have seen relatively weak rainfall. “Quantitatively, the rainfall over the country as a whole during the second half of the season is likely to be 100% of LPA with a model error of ±8%,” the IMD said on Tuesday. This year’s monsoon initially faced the threat of El Nino, which disrupts rainfall patterns across the globe, but the threat subsided. The seasonal rainfall forecast remains unchanged since June. “The seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be normal (96% -104% of Long Period Average) as predicted in June,” IMD said. Receding fears of formation of El Nino had led the IMD to upgrade its seasonal forecast from 96% to 98% of LPA in June. Presently, global and national forecasters have allayed fears of El Nino disrupting the southwest monsoon, as it is likely to remain neutral through this year. “Neutral ENSO conditions are most likely till 2018 spring season with high probability (80-90%) till end of 2017,” the national forecaster said. Rainfall in August is likely to be around 99% of long-period average, with a model error of +/-9%, as forecasted in June.