Okay, I'm not calling the max - short for maximum extent of the sea ice pack that marks the end of the freezing season - as I've sworn not to do that anymore since 2012, when I called the max twice, only to see the trend line bounce up higher and later. But this year something really interesting is taking place.
It started almost a month ago, on February 15th to be exact. IARC-JAXA (IJIS) sea ice extent grew to 13,942,060 square kilometres, and the 2015 trend line was just below the middle of the pack. Nothing out of the ordinary. In the two days that followed extent went down by over 170 thousand km2. Still nothing out of the ordinary.
But the gains in the following 8 days, up to February 25th, didn't manage to make up for the deficit and the preliminary peak was still standing. Then a drop of over 240 thousand km2 followed, somewhat out of the ordinary, and that's where we are as of today.
Last year, extent trended relatively low as well, but a surge in the middle of March made for a late max on March 19th. The current trend line is much lower, but there is enough refreezing potential on the fringes of the ice pack, as this sea ice concentration map from JAXA shows: