It looks like someone pulled the trigger. While extent and area are still hundreds of thousands square kilometers behind 2012, Siberia and Alaska enjoy already sunny temperatures above 30°C. Also sea ice concentration on the Asian side is significantly lower from pole to coast than along the western part of the Arctic Basin.

Image above shows partly land fast ice and the floating ice pack in a greenish color indicating heavy surface melting along the East Siberian coast. Click the image and zoom into Chukchi and Beaufort Sea to find similar colors.