A lack of precipitation is the most common definition of drought and is usually the type of drought referred to in news reports and the media. The western United States has experienced periods of horrible droughts throughout history, and climate change is blamed for producing more extreme weather variations in many other regions. Causes of Drought. A drought is a period of drier-than-normal conditions that results in water-related problems.The amount of precipitation at a particular location varies from year to year, but over a period of years, the average amount is fairly constant. Rainfall or Precipitation Deficiency; Droughts take place whenever there is prolonged periods of rainfall deficiency for a season or more and usually when there is a lack of anticipated rainfall or precipitation. Because drought is defined as a deficit in water supply, it can be caused by a number of factors. Droughts are caused by changes in land and sea surface temperatures, atmospheric circulation patterns and soil moisture content. What Causes a Drought? In contrast, the average precipitation in the The most important one though relates to the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere as this is what creates precipitation. More rain, sleet, hail, and snow can … 5 Causes Of Drought Author: Richard Restuccia August 16, 2016 3 min read The “new normal” of water management across the United States suggests we need to consider the regions we live in are either heading into a drought or coming out of a drought. Most locations around the world have their own meteorological definition of drought based on the climate normals in the area. Drought is increasingly on the minds of Americans and concerned citizens everywhere. In the deserts of the Southwest, the average precipitation is less than 3 inches per year. cuellar/Moment/Getty Images. Meteorological Drought. A change in any one of these factors sets up a cyclical chain of events that can result in extreme climate conditions such as drought.