The blink comparator above shows the difficulty in forecasting Arctic weather and ice. For the last two weeks, NCEP has been forecasting cold, calm weather over the western Arctic by the second week of September. The September 9 target forecasts above are dated August 27, September 1, and September 8.
As you can see, they have changed their forecast and are now forecasting (relatively) warm and windy (steep gradients) weather. So we can expect ongoing compaction of the ice and decline in extent for at least the next few days.
Weather forecasts are the primary tool we have for making short term ice extent forecasts. Accuracy of weather forecasting is typically limited to about 72 hours.