The plots below suggest that the rate of decrease is the same as previous years. However the starting area was lower over winter. This suggests a minimum extent of 4.6e6 sqkm
However comparing the 2 images from 2011 and 2007 created by
The seems to be more chance of a lower minimum than 2007 if the freeze does not start earlier.
RIP Bill Paxton: Scenes from Twister
6 hours ago