A novel technique is used to test theories of Alpine lee cyclogenesis. An “idealized” reference simulation of a cyclogenetic event is performed with a channel flow model. Recent theories of Speranza et al., Pierrehumbert, and Smith are tested by modifying the reference experiment to meet the main assumptions of the respective theories. None of the proposed theories is found capable of explaining the cyclogenetic process in the reference experiment. Prospects of future theories are discussed.